LOS ANGELES — Oscar De La Hoya says he is returning to the boxing ring for a bout against former UFC champion Vitor Belfort.
The 48-year-old De La Hoya announced Thursday that he will end his nearly 13-year ring retirement Sept. 11 in Las Vegas for what is expected to be an exhibition fight. The Golden Boy’s return is backed by Triller, the social networking service that has aggressively jumped into the fight game over the past year.
De La Hoya hasn’t fought an actual fight since losing to Manny Pacquiao in December 2008. The Olympic gold medalist from Los Angeles was one of the biggest pay-per-view stars in the sport during his heyday while winning world championships in six weight classes.
De La Hoya, who also runs Golden Boy Promotions, praised Triller in a statement for its “game-changing model of reimagining the boxing business as four-quadrant entertainment.”
Triller has gained a quick foothold in boxing by promoting highly non-traditional bouts such as Mike Tyson’s entertaining exhibition against Roy Jones Jr., and YouTube star Jake Paul’s non-exhibition stoppage of mixed martial arts fighter Ben Askren. The Triller shows feature musical performances interspersed with fights, and the company says it intends to put on a full festival concert around De La Hoya’s return.
The 44-year-old Belfort held the UFC’s light heavyweight title and knocked out 12 opponents while gaining a reputation as a strong striker. The Brazilian hasn’t fought a mixed martial arts bout since 2018, and he won his only previous professional boxing match.