Former England captain, Rio Ferdinand, said Tuesday he is launching a new career as a professional boxer two years after retiring from football as a way of channelling his anger
The 38-year-old former Manchester United star, who quit football in May 2015, is taking part in online betting firm Betfair’s “Defender to Contender” project.
Ferdinand’s wife Rebecca died of breast cancer shortly before his retirement and he has since lost his mother, also to cancer.
“I am been through quite a few things in my life,” Ferdinand told reporters in London.
“This is a way of trying to channel that aggression, that anger sometimes, into something I can be really focused on.
“I have probably been searching for that since I retired from football. I miss that competitive edge. It is something for me to focus on after the last couple of years.”
He will compete at cruiserweight and be trained by former world champion Richie Woodhall.
The ex-West Ham, Leeds, Manchester United and QPR defender, who currently works as a pundit with BT Sport and the BBC, said in a promotional video: “I have won (football) titles but now I am in it for a belt.
“I have got the utmost respect for the boxing fraternity and I am not saying I am going to be a world champion,” Ferdinand said.
“I am saying there are loads of hurdles to get over and I am going to meet them head on.
“I am not going into this without thinking about the dangers,” he added.
“I do not look at this as a circus. I am not trying to disrespect anyone. I am taking it seriously,” he added.