Former England defender Rio Ferdinand has been training in Dubai as the Betfair sponsored boxer-in-progress edges towards a debut in the ring.
The soon-to-be 39 year-old year-old announced plans to go from ‘Defender to Contender’ in a shock move a few weeks back and has been largely met with scepticism and disappointment by the boxing fraternity.
Ferdinand initially stated his desire to claim a recognised title during his switch of sports but quickly backtracked when eyebrows were raised by some current and former fighters.
Newly-crowned British champion Sam Sexton and Commonwealth holder Lenroy Thomas seem a world away from Ferdinand judging by some training videos posted by the ex-Leeds United man, whilst even the English title would be a tough ask given that touted future stars Nathan Gorman and Nick Webb were recently put forward to contest the strap.
Looking further down the chain, a shot at the Southern Area championship may be within reach for Ferdinand given that Daniel Dubois is likely to vacate the strap, but event then he would have to string together four or five wins against hungry domestic competition.
The most likely scenario would be a one-fight dip of the toes for Ferdinand, possibly in the ilk of Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff’s foray in 2012, which saw the cricketer dropped by Richard Dawson in the second only to score a debated four-round points win.
Currently boasting what looks a somewhat awkward style, Ferdinand is still yet to go through the British Boxing Board of Control’s process as Flintoff did for his solitary clash televised on BoxNation for a Sky One TV special.