Boxing Legend Says He ‘Dodged Bullet’ By Not Boxing ‘Monster’ Vitor Belfort

Vitor Belfort

Getty Vitor Belfort

Boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya admitted in a recent interview that he “dodged a bullet” by not boxing former UFC 205-pound champion Vitor Belfort.

“The Golden Boy” spoke with Ariel Helwani on Wednesday’s episode of “The MMA Hour.” And during their conversation, De La Hoya spoke about his once-scheduled bout with “The Phenom.”

The two were set to clash in September, but around a week before the Triller event, De La Hoya was hospitalized with COVID-19. The fight was scrapped and instead, Belfort boxed Evander Holyfield on the card. The Phenom needed less than a round to take out the then-57-year-old former heavyweight champion, winning via TKO.

De La Hoya told Helwani that Belfort “knows what he’s doing” inside the boxing ring.

“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 via MMA Junkie.” “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.”

De La Hoya Said He Was ‘Lying’ to Himself

De La Hoya, 49, is an Olympic gold medalist and has held world championships in several different weight classes. However, The Golden Boy recognizes that age has caught up to him and he’s better suited to promote fights instead of competing in them.

“I was in great shape, but I have to admit I was lying to myself,” De La Hoya said about the lead-up to the Belfort fight. “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.”

De La Hoya Confirmed That He Is ‘Done,’ Happy He Didn’t Make a Comeback

The last time De La Hoya stepped into the boxing ring was in 2008 when he was defeated by Manny Pacquiao. After eight rounds, The Golden Boy’s corner stopped the match.

And as history has it, that will be De La Hoya’s final bout, confirming to Helwani that he is “done” boxing. “No, no, I’m done,” De La Hoya continued. “Everything happens for a reason, and I’m glad that I didn’t come back.”

He retired with a professional boxing record of 39-6, with 30 wins via KO/TKO.

On the other end, Belfort, 45, is prepared to continue his career post-MMA. He was scheduled to battle Chad Dawson during Triller’s Triad Combat 2 on February 26, however the promotion postponed the event.

It’s unclear when Belfort will fight next and against who. Ahead of his bout with Holyfield, Belfort claimed that he’d box both Logan and Jake Paul on the same night.

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