Boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya has ramped up his spat with Dana White, taunting the UFC boss over fighter pay and blasting him for “accusing me of faking a virus that killed almost 700,000 Americans”.

Former six-weight ruler De La Hoya retired after being beaten by Manny Pacquiao in 2008 but caught the boxing bug again and was set for a meeting with ex-UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort this month.

The 48-year-old pulled out after contracting Covid, with Belfort instead pummeling Evander Holyfield – who is 10 years older than De La Hoya – on a September 11 card in Hollywood, Florida.

Long-time nemesis White has constantly bickered with De La Hoya through the media, and the president supremo clearly didn’t buy the Mexican-American’s excuse when he replied to a tweet that he fired out.

“Hey, Alex Volkanovski,” De La Hoya began, tagging the Australian featherweight champion after his title defense win over Brian Ortega at UFC 266 on Saturday.

“You just won a brutal battle for the UFC and made 1/20 of what you’re worth.

“Dana White, have some f*cking respect for yourself and these fighters and pay these warriors what they deserve.”

“Shut the f*ck up, you crackhead,” fired back White. “Faking that you had Covid and robbing me of watching you get knocked the f*ck out by Vitor Belfort. You should win an Academy Award for your hospital performance.”

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The accusations have echoes of the claim by heavyweight contender Dillian Whyte, who is now in line to face Tyson Fury for the WBC belt if the Gypsy King gets past Deontay Wilder next month, that Alexander Povetkin had faked Covid to put off their boxing rematch.

Whyte was KO’d by the Russian in August 2020, with their second meeting delayed before the Jamaican-Brit got his revenge in March, stopping him in the fourth round and sending the veteran into retirement.

Belfort’s camp also seemed to suggest they were skeptical about the claims made by De La Hoya, who was predictably unimpressed by White’s response.

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“That’s all you got, Dana White?” he asked in a separate tweet late on Monday.

“You’re accusing me of FAKING a virus that killed almost 700,000 Americans to avoid a fight?”

“You pathetic piece of sh*t. You’ve never even laced up the gloves.

“And you completely ignored my original point I made about underpaying your fighters.” (RT)