The longtime centre-back is making the move at 38 years old, with the betting company Betfair backing his training and professional aspirations.
“I’m doing this because it’s a challenge,” Ferdinand, who appeared in more than 500 matches during his Premier League career, told the BBC. “I’ve won titles, and now I’m aiming for a belt.”
Ferdinand has been posting workout videos and boxing training posts to his Instagram, showing off some of the training and sparring he’s been doing in preparation for the change. The results so far? Ferdinand has gotten pretty damn shredded.
Former WBC super-middleweight champion and Olympic Team Great Britain boxing trainer Richie Woodhall will be working with Ferdinand to get him ready for his new career.
“In all honesty, I think Rio can definitely box as a professional, given time,” Woodhall told the BBC. “He has natural power in his right hand, is extremely fit, and is very enthusiastic to learn, which is encouraging.”
Here are Ferdinand’s seven best Instagram posts showing off his shredded body, and his boxing training.