Football

Ferdinand training to be pro boxer

Former England captain Rio Ferdinand said yesterday that he will train to become a professional boxer with the aim of challenging for a title belt.

The 38-year-old former Manchester United star, who retired from football in May 2015, is taking part in online betting firm Betfair's "Defender to Contender" project and will be training with former WBC super-middleweight champion Richie Woodhall.

The 1.89m-tall Ferdinand will seek to qualify for a British Boxing Board of Control licence before starting training.

"Boxing is an amazing sport for the mind and the body," said Ferdinand. "I've 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."

Woodhall, a former Olympic bronze medallist turned Team GB trainer, believes Ferdinand can be a professional boxer as he has "natural power in his right hand" and " is extremely fit".

Woodhall added: "Style-wise, he's very raw and I'll have to develop this...but he has all the natural ingredients, height and reach advantages and has potential to win a title in future." - AFP

Rio FerdinandManchester Unitedboxing