Rio Ferdinand backtracks on title quest, says he wants ‘one fight’ to see if boxing ‘grabs’ him

Previously during a press conference to annnounce his intentions to box, the 38 year-old had stated he ‘wanted a belt’ – something which raised eyebrows with some of those already involved in the sport.

On Monday morning during an appearance on UK TV, a more realistic Ferdinand set his targets a lot lower.

“I want to see if I can get a license and become a professional and have one fight,” Ferdinand told BBC Breakfast.

“I am not looking to have a career here. I am looking to have a professional fight and I will see where I go then. It might grab me and say ‘I want to stay in here’.

“I need to get a license first. I am taking this seriously, this is not a joke, hopefully I will get a license, go on to become a professional and fight someone.

“Boxing can’t be a gimmick. If I take it lightly I will get hurt,” he added.

One case of a Premier League star swapping boots for boxing gloves has been successful before Ferdinand as ex-Birmingham City and Sheffield United man Curtis Woodhouse claimed English and British straps during his career, which he reignited this year after initially hanging up his gloves.

The recently retired Leon McKenzie, who played for Norwich City among other top tier sides, failed in his own bid to win England and Southern Area belts over the past year.

Ferdinand faces an even tougher task than either Woodhouse or McKenzie though, with plans afoot to fight in the heavyweight division against bulkier men who can really pack a punch.