Oscar De La Hoya Believes He ‘Dodged A Bullet’ By Not Boxing Vitor Belfort

De La Hoya was originally set to box Belfort last year before he was forced to pull out after testing positive for COVID-19.

Oscar De La Hoya

Oscar De La Hoya believes he dodged a bullet by not facing former UFC champion Vitor Belfort. 

The former boxing champion was set to return to the ring and box Belfort in an exhibition match at a Triller event last year.

However, De La Hoya would end up pulling out after testing positive for COVID-19.

Former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield — who was notably 58 years old at the time — would step in on short notice only to suffer a one-sided first-round TKO defeat.

Looking back, De La Hoya is glad he didn’t end up facing a “monster” in Belfort.

“I’m glad I didn’t fight this monster of a fighter because he’s a big guy, and he knows what he’s doing,” De La Hoya said on “The MMA Hour.” “He’s talented. As old as we were, we can still throw punches. We saw it with Evander Holyfield where he knocked him out. I think I dodged a bullet there.”

Oscar De La Hoya: I Was Lying To Myself

Of course, De La Hoya, 49, is younger than Holyfield and much closer to Belfort’s age of 45.

Not to mention, he held a significant advantage when it came to boxing experience.

With that said, De La Hoya believes he was lying to himself by believing he could face Belfort despite being in great shape and retaining his reflexes.

“I was in great shape, but I have to admit I was lying to myself,” De La Hoya said. “When I was sparring, I was getting hit a lot. So I was being stubborn. I was in great shape. My reflexes … the videos that I posted, they were legit. They were fast, my reflexes were incredible, but when I was sparring, I was getting hit too much.

“Everything happens for a reason. I’m glad I didn’t fight because obviously he’s a big guy, and he knocked out Evander Holyfield, so everything happens for a reason. I’m glad that I got over it (COVID-19) and I didn’t fight, and now I can just sit back and relax and grow some gray hairs promoting fighters.”

In hindsight, that was probably the best decision for De La Hoya — especially as this was a Belfort not subjected to any drug testing.

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