Rio Ferdinand is poised to launching a new career as a professional boxer 2 years after retiring from professional football.
The former Manchester United and England defender announced early Tuesday that he will be trying his hand in the ring with the view to challenging for a belt within the couple of months
Ferdinand, who has six Premier League titles and a Champions League trophy to his name during his time at Manchester United, will be looking to follow in the footsteps of former Crystal Palace striker Leon McKenzie, who became a professional boxers after quitting football then later became British Super-lightweight champion
Also former Sheffield United and Birmingham star Curtis Woodhouse after falling out of love with football, decided to pursue a career in boxing where his heart has always belonged . Having sparred in the gym after training without informing his manager, Woodhouse quit football altogether and made his ring debut in 2006. With eight years and 26 fights going, the 37-year-old eventually achieved his dream by beating Darren Hamilton on points to win the British super lightweight title.
Another Sport man that switch allegiance to boxing after calling time on his professional career in Cricket is former England captain Andrew Flintoff and thereby also going ahead to win his only pro bout against American Richard Dawson in December 2012 at Manchester Arena.
One of the richest fights in the sports history also birthed another historic crossover-bout from UFC to boxing for Conor McGregor who made his professional debut against one of the finest boxers of all time Floyd Mayweather.
Despite the fact that the 38-year-old former defender insists he does not expect to get as far as world title bout, he is ready to experience the thrill of competition and to put himself to test “as a human being”.
“I’m doing this for many reasons. I’m doing this to test myself as a man, as a human being. Can I change sports? Can I be a respectable performer in other sports? Can my body get through it? Can I mentally get up early at 5-6am in the morning when it is dark and cold to go on long, dirty runs? Then get back, take my kids to school, go to the gym and eat properly all of the time.nThis is a test of my mind and body, that’s the way I’m looking at it. I’m not looking at it to become the world champion, I’m not stupid.” Ferdinand said
Ferdinand will be coached by Team GB coach and former WBC super-middleweight champion Richie Woodhall.
Richie has made a good remark about him and he is already prepared to put the English man to test and prepare him for another challenge as a sport man
“In all honesty, I think Rio can definitely box as a professional given time. He has natural power in his right hand, is extremely fit and is very enthusiastic to learn which is encouraging,” Woodhall said.
Rio Ferdinand started his career with West Ham before making a big money switch to Manchester United and also played for Leeds and QPR, making more than 500 career club appearances most in the colours of Manchester United. He also has 81 caps for England.