Action Images via Reuters / Andrew Couldridge Livepic
One of England’s toughest defenders is set to test his mettle away from the lights of footballing stadiums and instead step inside the ring. Former Manchester United captain Rio Ferdinand is expected to announce on Tuesday a move into the world of professional boxing, according to The Telegraph.
The decision will be formally made Tuesday afternoon in what the Telegraph quotes was billed as a “major news announcement,” and sees the 38-year-old Ferdinand follow in the footsteps of Curtis Woodhouse, the former Sheffield United striker who became British light-welterweight champion.
He has posted of his exploits in the world of boxing on Instagram, releasing videos of his training sessions and calling out other boxing stars Anthony Joshua, David Haye, and Tony Bellew.
Ferdinand said, as quoted by The Telegraph: “Tony Bellew? I’m here. I’m waiting. I’m ready, pal. Are you ready?
“David Haye, you want some? I’m here, mate. I’m here. Working.
“AJ, we had a holiday together, mate, Dubai. I’ll take you out. I will cut you down. I’ll take you out, AJ! Come on son! You want some!”
Ferdinand explained, in a documentary airing on BBC One, that boxing helped him cope with the death of his wife, Rebecca Elisson, who succumbed to breast cancer two years ago. He explains: “Without the gym, I don’t know where I would’ve had that release time – that time just to think about nothing, or to think about something other than what was going on in my life.”
It is not clear if Ferdinand has lined up a fight with any of the aforementioned boxers he called out back in January.