Oscar De La Hoya told ESPNNewYork.com that he came close to ending his retirement and headlining the Oct. 20 show at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., against WBA middleweight champion Felix Sturm.
De La Hoya was stopped by Manny Pacquiao in his last fight on Dec. 6, 2008, and retired officially in April 2009.
"I can't do it, can't do it," De La Hoya said at a news conference to hype the Oct. 20 card at the Barclays, headlined by a Danny Garcia-Erik Morales rematch. "I think about making a comeback every single day. I went running, I went training, did that for a few days. But my body couldn't handle it. I'm 39, but I'm an old 39.
"I think my body went through a lot, went through the wringer. In terms of being inside the ring, getting hit, but also outside the ring, living a crazy life. If I have the desire of coming back, I go and work out, and there goes those plans."
A De La Hoya-Sturm encounter would have been a rematch of sorts of their June 2004 fight in Las Vegas. "The Golden Boy" scored a unanimous decision over Sturm in a WBO middleweight title bout, but some believed Sturm won the bout.
De La Hoya won his last title in May 2006, beating Ricardo Mayorga in six rounds for the WBC 154-pound belt. De La Hoya finished with a record of 39-6 and 30 knockouts.
Is he 1,000 percent finished as a fighter?
"A million percent," he declared.