Rio Ferdinand’s short-lived dream of making a foray into the world of boxing came to an end recently for reasons his trainer details in an interview with the BBC.
When the former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand announced to the world that he intended on making the switch to the world of professional boxing at the grand old age of 38, the reaction was fairly mixed, to say the least.
Ferdinand, who for years stood tall in the United backline, decided to hook up with BetFair in association with their ‘Defender to Contender’ series but recently it emerged that he has been denied a license by the British governing body for the sport, the BBBofC.
Speaking to BBC Sport, his trainer, the former WBC super-middleweight champion Richie Woodhall has this to say on Rio’s failed attempt to secure a license:
“It was not sensible for him or for the sport.
“I said from the word go it would be difficult and the hardest part of the process would be getting a licence. I told Betfair it would be a major issue.
“When he started he was 38 years old with no boxing experience.”
“I was very disappointed. He would have been OK and made the grade and fought as professional, I have no doubt about that.
“I wish someone from the BBBofC would have come down to the gym and seen him train and spar – they would have granted him a licence straight away.”
It’s a bit of a bummer for Ferdinand, who, of course, has been out of the professional football game for almost three years now and taking to his official Twitter page, he voiced his disappointment with how things played out.
Having been training 4-5 times a week since announcing the aim of achieving a professional boxing licence & stepping into the ring, it is with a heavy heart that I am hanging up my gloves on @Betfair #DefendertoContender challenge.
— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) May 3, 2018
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena