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Eddie Hearn's comments on Rio Ferdinand's decision to take up boxing won't impress his fans

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On Tuesday, Rio Ferdinand announced to the world the huge news that he would be pursuing a career in professional boxing.

The former Manchester United defender has been retired from the game of football for quite a few years and is now a regular on the BT Sport panel for their Premier League and Champions League games.

Ferdinand is taking part in Betfair's 'Defender to Contender' project and will be under the guidance of former WBC super-middleweight champions, Richie Woodhall.

It is, of course, a very long road for the 38-year-old to be considered for a professional bout, particularly as he is yet to even get his licence from the British Boxing Board of Control

His decision seems a strange one and famous promoter Eddie Hearn has had his say on the matter.

He is not happy and feels that Ferdinand's actions will undermine the sport.

Hearn told BBC Radio 5 Live, per Independent: "It's laughable isn't it? He is being totally naive and is totally underestimating boxing.

"But he has the choice of what he wants to do with his time and his life.

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"The authorities are there to make sure the sport is safe, and that involves very tough tests to make sure he is capable of getting into the ring.

"If he can achieve that, let him have his chance, it's not a problem. But let's not take it seriously and talk about fighting for titles and things like that.

"I wish him luck, I hope he enjoys it, but be very careful because it's dangerous."

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You can understand where he is coming from and it will be interesting to see what opponents Ferdinand does indeed take on if he does make it.

But, Woodhall is confident in his new project, saying: "I think Rio can definitely box as a professional given time.

"He has all the natural ingredients...and definitely has potential to win a title in the future."

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Ferdinand is in very high spirits about the whole thing and stressed that he has the self-belief to make his dream come true.

"A lot of people sit and watch huge fights, plus other sporting events and say 'I can do that' or 'they've messed it up'.

"There are a lot of armchair fans wanting to pass judgement. Well, I'm going to walk the walk and actually do it."

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