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Dublin: 12 °C Monday 24 September, 2018

Ex-footballer Rio Ferdinand confirms he's pursuing career as professional boxer aged 38

The former England defender announced his new career path on Twitter this morning.

Updated at 09.30

FORMER MANCHESTER UNITED and England defender Rio Ferdinand is to pursue a career as a professional boxer.

The 38-year-old retired footballer announced his new career path on Twitter this morning.

The BBC and BT Sport pundit has been doing boxing training for the best part of a year, posting several clips of his training and pad-work, including one in January in which he jokingly called out Britain’s big-hitters in both the cruiserweight and heavyweight division.

Ferdinand weighed roughly 87kg (191 lbs) as a footballer, and so provided he’s granted a boxing licence, will likely fight as a cruiserweight (200-lb limit) as opposed to heavyweight (anything above 200 lbs).

He’ll attempt to follow in the footsteps of Curtis Woodhouse, a central midfielder who lined out against Ferdinand in the Premier League for Birmingham City, but forged a successful boxing career after switching sports in 2006.

Woodhouse, currently the manager of Bridlington Town, has won 23 of his 30 professional contests in the ring, and picked up a British light-welterweight title in 2014. He’s slated to return to the ring this November.

Ferdinand will, of course, be a coup for any UK promoter given the curiosity that will likely meet his prospective pugilistic career, but will seek to avoid going to way of England cricketer Andrew Flintoff, whose solitary professional fight – a points victory in 2012 – was perceived by most as a disgrace to the sport.

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