Former footballer Rio Ferdinand turns 39 years old today as the ex-England star continues his preparation to enter the boxing ring.
The birthday boy, who retired from playing in 2015 following almost two decades at the top of the game, is training with ex-pro Richie Woodhall in a bid to emulate ex-Birmingham City and Sheffield United man Curtis Woodhouse.
Since stepping away from football two years ago, Ferdinand suffered a personal tragedy as he lost his wife to illness and has since been keeping busy with TV work.
A run in the pro ranks beckons for Ferdinand though, provided he can make the grade, with Ferdinand initially stating his desire to claim a recognised title during his switch of sports.
The veteran quickly backtracked when eyebrows were raised by some current and former fighters, confirming one fight could lead to more in the future.
Upon evidence of recent training videos, newly-crowned British champion Sam Sexton and Commonwealth holder Lenroy Thomas seem a world away from Ferdinand, 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 even 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.