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Oscar de la Hoya confirms boxing return date and opponent

Mirror logo Mirror 18/06/2021 Donagh Corby

Oscar de la Hoya will return to the ring on September 11 as part of a weekend-long festival in Las Vegas, facing former UFC champion Vitor Belfort in an eight-round exhibition bout.

The boxing legend, who was a champion 11 times in six different weight classes, is considerably smaller than Belfort, and the bout will take place with similar exhibition rules to Floyd Mayweather v Logan Paul or Mike Tyson v Roy Jones Jr.

'Golden Boy' Oscar, 48, will weigh in at a limit of 175 lbs, while Belfort, 44, a former light heavyweight champion in the UFC will have to weigh 190 lbs, and there will be eight rounds of two minutes.

The weekend's action will begin on the Friday night with a 'Verzuz' rap battle event, before a full concert event on the day of the fight the following day.

“I am ready to return to the ring and I am proud to be part of Triller and Verzuz and their game-changing model of reimagining the boxing business as four-quadrant entertainment,” De La Hoya said.

Oscar de la Hoya is coming back to the ring © Getty Oscar de la Hoya is coming back to the ring

“I have nothing but the utmost respect for a champion like Vitor Belfort as we show the world what high level boxing is all about.”

"It was incredibly important to me my comeback was on this date as it represents such an important moment in history for me, my fans and the words culture. This is much bigger than just me and this event, for all those with ties and or roots in and to Mexico."

Belfort, who has compared this bout to other boxing and MMA crossover fights like Mayweather v McGregor or Randy Couture v James Toney, believes that his boxing skill will surprise the much smaller de la Hoya.

“It will be a pleasure to represent MMA again, this time in the ring against one of the biggest names in the history of boxing," Belfort said.

"It will be a war not to be missed and a fight my kids will be talking about. This is certain to make combat sports history.”

Triller co-founder Ryan Kavanaugh orchestrated the Mike Tyson v Roy Jones Jr bout as well as Jake Paul v Ben Askren and the promotion's winning purse bid for Teofimo Lopez's first unified title defence.

And he believes that this is one of the most highly anticipated boxing returns of the year, which did include De La Hoya's old rival Mayweather coming back.

“There is no more anticipated and talked about return to the ring than Oscar de la Hoya," Kavanaugh said.

"His matchup with a legendary UFC Champion in Vitor Belfort will be a must-watch for entertainment and athleticism."

Belfort was a feared knockout artist during his prime, and holds the record for most knockouts in UFC history with 12 stoppages.

He has fought at heavyweight during his career, winning the UFC 12 tournament for the weight class in 1997.

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