Rio Ferdinand has announced his intentions to launch a professional boxing career, just two years after his retirement from football in 2015.
The 38-year-old, whose competitive edge still lives inside of him, is focused on continuing a career in sport to channel some of his “anger” due to personal issues facing him the past couple of years – both his mother and wife, unfortunately, lost their battles with cancer.
“I’m doing this because it’s a challenge,” he said. “I’ve won titles and now I’m aiming for a belt.”
Betting company Betfair announced the news on Tuesday and will help him qualify for his British Boxing Board of Control (BBBC) license.
However, as expected, there have been several skeptics of Rio’s new venture, including promoter Barry Hearn, stating, “It’s laughable. I like Rio, don’t get me wrong, but this is an advert for a reality TV show.
“If Tony Bellew, David Haye or Anthony Joshua hit Rio Ferdinand it would probably be prosecutable by the police for using a deadly weapon. He could get himself badly hurt.
“He could get badly hurt and no promoter is going to sanction that. He’s being totally naive and underestimating boxing.”
For now, we’ll just have to wait and see the outcome of Rio’s decision. In the meanwhile, check out Rio Ferdinand’s reaction to Anthony Joshua’s big win against Klitschko here.