Ex-Manchester United star and England defender Rio Ferdinand to become professional boxer

Former Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand is set for a sensational career change after launching a bid to become a professional boxer.

The 38 year-old, who hung up his boots in 2015 after almost two decades in the Premier League, has agreed to take on Betfair’s ‘Defender to Contender’ challenge.

Ferdinand will train with the aim of qualifying for his British Boxing Board of Control licence before competing for a title belt.

In a statement, Ferdinand said: ‘When Betfair approached me about the Defender to Contender challenge, the chance to prove myself in a new sport was a real draw.

‘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.’

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