Out of literally nowhere, news has broken that former Manchester United and England captain Rio Ferdinand is to try his hand at professional boxing at the age of 38.
The Telegraph reports that it will soon be announced that the 38-year old, who played 455 times for United and won six Premier League titles, is taking up the sport – with the news to be confirmed and made official by tomorrow.
Earlier this year he posted a clip of himself on the pads with former rugby player Mel Deane and had a few words for British boxing trio Tony Bellew, Anthony Joshua and David Haye.
“Tony Bellew? I’m here. I’m waiting. I’m ready, pal. Are you ready?,” he joked.
“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!”
And though he was messing about back in January, it seems Ferdinand, who has an interest in boxing and interviewed Floyd Mayweather for BT Sport not too long ago, is deadly serious about his career switch.
He will of course need to obtain a boxing license in order to get in between the ropes, but it shouldn’t prove too difficult, given that Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff was successful in getting his license and won his one and only professional fight over Richard Dawson in November 2012 at the Manchester Arena.
Here’s how Twitter reacted, with Ferdinand receiving a message of support from Curtis Woodhouse, the former Sheffield United, Birmingham City and Hull City player who switched to boxing, won the british light-welterweight title and boasts a record of 22 wins and 7 losses: