Rio Ferdinand doesn’t really care whether anyone disagrees with his decision to pursue a career in boxing; he’s simply doing it for himself.
“It’s something for me to focus on after the last couple of years,” Ferdinand said at a press conference.
“I’ve been through quite a few things in my life and this is a way of trying to channel that aggression, that anger sometimes, into something I can be really focused on.”
Ferdinand lost his wife, Rebecca Ellison, to cancer in 2015 and revealed the struggle of overcoming such a tragic loss and being a single parent in an emotional BBC documentary in March.
And that’s not the only thing driving him on. As a six-time winner of the Premier League with Manchester United, the former centre-back misses competing at a high level.
“It was mainly about testing myself,” he added. “Throughout my career, I’ve got used to competition and I’ve fuelled myself on it.
“I’ve probably been searching for that since I retired. I miss that competitive edge.
“Physically and mentally, I’m going to go to places I’ve never been, but I want to meet the challenges head on.
“I know there will be moments when I ask myself, ‘Am I doing the right thing?’ But that’s part of the test, I miss pressure. I don’t miss playing football, I miss the adrenaline and the competing, and the mental and physical warfare.”
Ferdinand posted first training boxing
What will help Ferdinand in his bid to become a professional boxer and win a title is the fact that he’s remained in great shape since his retirement from football two years ago.
The ex-England international posted a clip from his first training video since the announcement was made and it’s fair to say he looks really impressive.
The 38-year-old shows off his strength by pulling his legs up above his head before being punched repeatedly in the ribs by trainer Mel Deane.
“And we begin.... @meldeane providing some rib shots this morning! 🥊,” Ferdinand wrote as he shared the clip with his millions of social media followers.
It’s going to be a gruelling few months for Ferdinand but it would appear he’s more than up to the challenge.