The Telegraph reports that former Manchester United and England captain Rio Ferdinand is to try his hand at professional boxing at the age of 38. Ferdinand is already in training to gain his British Boxing Board of Control licence and is planning a series of fights over the next 12 months.
Ferdinand is hoping to get his licence with the help of bookmaker Betfair: “Boxing is an amazing sport for the mind and the body. I have always had a passion for it and this challenge is the perfect opportunity to show people what’s possible. It’s a challenge I’m not taking lightly, clearly not everyone can become a professional boxer, but with the team of experts Betfair are putting together and the drive I have to succeed, anything is possible.”
In a video uploaded in January, he can be seen doing pad work with former rugby union centre Mel Deane while calling out British boxing stars Anthony Joshua, David Haye and Tony Bellew.
The former England captain follows Freddie Flintoff in embarking on the new career in boxing but unlike the cricketers he does not want to have just one fight.
Ferdinand has posted regular videos on his social media accounts showing him in boxing training, and he was at Wembley in April to see Anthony Joshua’s epic heavyweight contest with Wladimir Klitschko.
Ferdinand will try to follow in the footsteps of Conor McGregor, the Ultimate Fighting Championship star who last month lost to Floyd Mayweather on his boxing debut.
In March the BBC’s heartwarming documentary Being Mum and Dad showed how boxing helped Ferdinand deal with the loss of his wife to cancer and how it helped his grieving process.
Despite his retirement from football in 2015 after a successful, trophy-laden career, Ferdinand has stayed in incredible shape and has regularly posted videos of him putting in the work with his personal trainer.