Boxing

Rio Ferdinand.

Rio Ferdinand reacts to journalist accusing him of boxing for the money

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It's pretty safe to say not many people had money on a 38-year-old Rio Ferdinand suddenly launching a career in boxing, but that seems to be exactly what is happening.

Bookmakers Betfair are backing the former England skipper as he bids to make a genuine name for himself in boxing, two years after retiring from an ultra-successful career in football.

Since his retirement, Ferdinand has been a football pundit for BT Sport and presided over his clothing range '5'.

The Manchester United has gotten himself into tremendous shape since retiring and posts regular videos of his intense workouts, but now he wants to take his new physique to the ring.

Ferdinand cites winning a title as the motivation behind doing this new venture.

"I'm doing this because it's a challenge," he said. "I've won titles and now I'm aiming for a belt.

"When Betfair approached me about the challenge, the chance to prove myself in a new sport was a real draw," Ferdinand added.

Associated Press journalist Rob Harris enquired as to how much Betfair and Ferdinand stood to make from this 'stunt' and Rio was not happy at all.

To be fair, Rio has to expect some questions like that. After Conor McGregor essentially used boxing to make a grand payday, now Ferdinand decides at 38 he can give it a go on the big stage too.

On the surface, it's hardly great for the sport - even if it will be entertaining.

British Boxing Board of Control general secretary Robert Smith said they had not yet received an application from Ferdinand for a boxer's licence and this was news to them.

Rio Ferdinand Press Conference London

"I was completely surprised," he said. "We don't have an application, so there's nothing to consider. Nor have we had any conversation with anybody regarding this."

If Ferdinand remains around his footballing weight of 87kg, he would enter in the cruiserweight category. However, judging by the muscle he has packed on, it's very possible he may well end up a heavyweight.

If that's the case, pray for Rio against the likes of David Haye, Dillian Whyte, Daniel Dubois and - do we even need to mention Anthony Joshua?

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Topics:
Boxing
David Haye
Floyd Mayweather
Manny Pacquiao

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