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Former boxing great Oscar De La Hoya has been hospitalised after contracting COVID-19, forcing cancellation of his one-off comeback bout against Vitor Belfort next week. Image Credit: AFP

Los Angeles: Oscar De La Hoya’s return to the ring will have to wait after the fighter said he tested positive for COVID-19.

The 48-year-old De La Hoya was scheduled to fight on Sept. 11 against former MMA fighter Vitor Belfort in a pay-per-view event at Staples Center in Los Angeles. It would have been his first fight in 13 years since being stopped by Manny Pacquiao in 2008 in his last bout.

Hospital bed

The former boxing champion posted a video online Friday of himself in a hospital bed, saying he caught the virus despite being fully vaccinated.

“I am currently in the hospital getting treatment and am confident I will be back in the ring before the year is up,” De La Hoya said.

De La Hoya, who has been a boxing promoter since retiring, was to have fought the 44-year-old Belfort at 185 pounds, 40 pounds heavier than he was for his loss to Pacquiao.