Retired footballer Rio Ferdinand to try his luck at pro boxing

ANI | Updated: Sep 19, 2017 17:26 IST

<p>London [UK], Sept. 19 (ANI): <a href="/search?query=Former England and Manchester United defender">Former England and Manchester United defender</a> <a href="/search?query=Rio Ferdinand">Rio Ferdinand</a>, who retired from football in 2015, has announced that he plans to become a professional boxer.</p><p>Ferdinand, who will be turning 39 in two months time, will attempt to become a professional boxer after taking up the sport to stay fit in retirement from football and to channel his grief after the death of his wife.</p><p>It is understood that his training will be filmed for a TV documentary series and he will aim to have his first fight as its concluding episode.</p><p>"The chance to prove myself in a new sport was a real draw," the Guardian quoted Ferdinand as saying.</p><p>The 38-year-old will be training with former WBC super-middleweight champion Richie Woodhall.</p><p>"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," he added.</p><p>The former defender has posted several social media videos in recent months showing him <a href="/search?query=boxing">boxing</a> and working with personal trainer Mel Deane.</p><p>It is believed that Ferdinand, who won the Premier League six times and the Champions League once during his time in Manchester, intends to fight only once, following in the footsteps of Andrew Flintoff.</p><p>Ferdinand, a regular pundit on BBC and BT Sport, featured in 81 matches for England.</p><p>The former centre-back will not be the first footballer to turn into a boxer as former Sheffield United player Curtis Woodhouse also did the same and went on to win the British light-welterweight title in 2012. (ANI)</p>