- Date & Location: Saturday, September 11 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif.
- Odds: Oscar De La Hoya (-130) vs. Vitor Belfort (+100) via BetOnline
- Prediction: Belfort via decision.
The last time Oscar De La Hoya fought was in December 2008. That fight ended after the eighth round when De la Hoya’s corner called a stop to the bout against Manny Pacquiao. He retired with a record of 39-6. De La Hoya opened his career with a 36-2 record and finished on a 3-4 run. His losses were to Shane Mosley, Bernard Hopkins, Floyd Mayweather Jr., and Pacquiao.
Belfort has not fought in MMA since he retired after a knockout loss to Lyoto Machida in 2018. Belfort ended his MMA career with a 26-14-0-1 record. He went 1-3-0-1 in his last five fights.
When this contest was initially announced, it was to be an exhibition bout. That has changed. The California State Athletic Commission will regulate the bout between the 48-year-old De La Hoya and the 44-year-old Belfort at Staples Center.
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DE LA HOYA vs. BELFORT PREDICTION & PICK
This is a hard fight to pick for several reasons. When De La Hoya retired, he said, “My heart still wants to fight, that’s for sure. But when your physical doesn’t respond, what can you do? I have to be smart and make sure I think about my future plans.” One has to wonder what has changed over the past 13 years that would convince De La Hoya that he can compete in 2021.
De La Hoya weighed 147 pounds for the Pacquiao bout. Belfort’s final MMA bout took place at 185 pounds, but he competed at 205 as late as 2013. There isn’t a big height difference between the two, but the weight they competed at and had success at is a concern.
Lastly, there are concerns about De La Hoya’s mindset entering this bout. The former boxing champion has struggled with substance abuse in the past and his commentary at the April Triller boxing event where he admitted to “having a couple of drinks,” brought concern from many who watched the event.
My pick is Belfort based on having more knowledge about his recent career, training and fitness.
Prediction: Belfort at +100 via SportsBetting.
BETTING VALUE WITH BELFORT
When Belfort made his MMA debut, he was one of the most feared strikers in the sport. He was fast and powerful and had a swarming style that resulted in five first-round knockouts in his first seven MMA bouts. He still had power and the ability to score knockouts late in his career as he went 4-1 with four first-round knockouts between 2013 and 2015.
Belfort has the power to knock out De La Hoya, but De La Hoya’s boxing skills, even if they have fallen off with age, should be enough to keep him from hitting the canvas for a 10-count.
As for De La Hoya, he’s a live dog, but I just don’t have the information that would make me believe he can beat someone who has been much more active than he has.
Pick: Belfort via decision at -115 via BetUS.
WHO HAS THE EDGE?
From what we know of De La Hoya and Belfort, Belfort should have the edge in this boxing match in 2021.
TALE OF THE TAPE: DE LA HOYA vs. BELFORT
|Oscar De La Hoya||Category||Vitor Belfort|
|39-6 (Boxing)||Record||26-14-1 (MMA)|
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
De La Hoya is looking at this as a make-or-break fight. In the lead-up to the fight, he said, “For myself. I’m doing it for myself. I’ve had an (expletive) crazy life – had a crazy life. I’m sorry if I get all emotional and (expletive). I’ve done this for 35 years. I’ve always done it for my family. I’ve done it for my fans all over the world. I’ve gone into the ring and just let it all out because I love what I do. I love what I represent for people. But I’m finally doing it for myself. I’m doing it for my kids – for Devon, for Jacob, for Tatiana, for little Oscar, for Victoria, you know, for myself especially.”
As for Belfort, as the fight approached, the former MMA champ was said to be in talks with Triller for a contract that includes a bout opposite Evander Holyfield.