Until some years before he was one of the top defenders in Premier League playing for Manchester United and the English National Football team. We are talking about Rio Ferdinand, one of the most emblematic defenders of the last decade. Now, the latter decided to get into the boxing rings. That’s right, he has decided to fight his way to the top at the professional boxing rankings. Ferdinand aims to qualify for his British Boxing Board of Control (BBBOC) license. After that, he will begin transforming himself into a boxer, training and competing for a title belt.
And at this stage is where Betfair comes in to support the popular ex-football player. Just yesterday, Rio Ferdinand announced he has partnered with online bookmaker Betfair to venture into the world of boxing, in a project that is called “From defender to contender”. Rio will be training with former WBC super-middleweight Champion turned Team GB trainer, Richie Woodhall.
We should remind that Betfair took before another challenge like that, since they successfully helped Victoria Pendleton’s transition from Olympic cyclist to Cheltenham jockey in the ground-breaking ‘Switching Saddles’ challenge in 2016. Through this project, Betfair wants to profile the skills, athleticism and courage faced by boxers around the world.
As it was expected, Rio Ferdinand was asked about the reasons led him to take the challenge. “When Betfair approached me about the Defender to Contender challenge, the chance to prove myself in a new sport was a real draw. 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.