Rio Ferdinand excelled in football for a solid 15 years. In that time, he had six premier league titles in addition to a champions league with Manchester United. He also had 81 England caps.
However, the famed soccer has turned in his boots for gloves this year. He is partnering with Betfair, a well-known online bookmaker in the UK.
Ferdinand made his decision to become a boxer due to the “Defender to Contender” project. Betfair will play a role in helping him obtain his British Boxing Board of Control license; BBBOC is a shortened name for the board. He will then begin his intensive training, and soon after he will compete for his first ever title belt.
As a professional athlete, Rio Ferdinand obviously had a thirst to win. He reported that “When Betfair approached me about the Defender to Contender challenge, the chance to prove myself in a new sport was a real draw.” He obviously decided to take on the challenge of completely transforming himself as an athlete.
The footballer also mentioned that “Boxing is an amazing sport for the mind and the body. I have always had a passion for it, and this challenge is the perfect opportunity to show people what’s possible. It’s a challenge I’m not taking lightly. Clearly, not everyone can become a professional boxer, but with the team of experts Betfair are putting together and the drive I have to succeed, anything is possible.”
Betfair is currently creating a team of trainers to help Ferdinand become the best boxer he can. The team will comprise of some of the top boxing experts in the world. Ferdinand will also have access to conditioning experts so that he can properly transform his body from being able to handle a long soccer game to withstand a decent amount of time in the ring.
Specifically, Richie Woodhall will be a primary trainer in this process. Mr. Woodhall was a WBC super-middleweight champion; this will be a tremendous asset to Ferdinand in this process.
This transformation is not the first time Betfair has transformed an athlete. In fact, they have managed to successfully transition athletes from one sport to another in the past, and Ferdinand seems determined to be another one of their successes. Only time will tell if he’ll step into the ring or not, but Betfair is excited for that day to come.