Oscar De La Hoya’s long-discussed return to the ring is set.
BoxingScene.com has confirmed that “The Golden Boy” will box former UFC star Vitor Belfort in a 10-round exhibition September 11. Their Triller Fight Club pay-per-view main event will likely take place at a venue in Las Vegas.
De La Hoya, 48, and Belfort, 44, will wear 12-ounce gloves for their exhibition. Association of Boxing Commissions rules require contestants who compete above the welterweight limit to wear 10-ounce gloves for official fights in the United States.
The Athletic’s Mike Coppinger, a member of Triller Fight Club’s broadcast team, first reported on Twitter that the De La Hoya-Belfort bout has been scheduled for September 11.
De La Hoya, a six-division champion, initially announced he’d headline a Triller Pay-Per-View show July 3, but his return was delayed for two months.
De La Hoya has been retired from boxing since his one-sided, technical-knockout loss to Manny Pacquiao in December 2008. De La Hoya, who was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in June 2014, has spoken about boxing again in real fights and more recently in exhibitions for many years.
Brazil’s Belfort is a former UFC light heavyweight champion who has fought such MMA legends as Chuck Liddell, Randy Couture, Tito Ortiz, Anderson Silva and Jon Jones. He hasn’t competed in MMA since May 2018, when Lyoto Machida knocked him out in the first round at UFC 224 in Rio de Janeiro.
Belfort announced his retirement following his seventh knockout loss three years ago. He went 26-14, including 18 knockout victories and three submission wins, during his 21-year MMA career.
By scheduling his exhibition for September 11, De La Hoya likely will avoid directly competing with the next fight for Canelo Alvarez, the longtime flagship fighter for Golden Boy Promotions.
Mexico’s Alvarez and Golden Boy parted ways late last year. The contentious nature of the relationship between De La Hoya and Alvarez has played out publicly on social media in recent weeks.
Alvarez’s handlers remain in negotiations with Caleb Plant’s representatives for them to fight for their four super middleweight championships September 18, probably at a Las Vegas venue as well. Promoter Eddie Hearn, who has worked with Alvarez for his past three fights, said recently that September 11 also is a potential date for the Alvarez-Plant fight.
The 30-year-old Alvarez (56-1-2, 38 KOs), who has won world titles in four divisions, owns the WBA, WBC and WBO super middleweight titles. The 28-year-old Plant (21-0, 12 KOs), of Ashland City, Tennessee, holds the IBF 168-pound crown.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.