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So what do people think about Rio Ferdinand becoming a professional boxer?

Gary Neville has some thoughts about it all…

Rio Ferdinand has announced his intention to become a professional boxer.

The former Manchester United captain, 38, has set the goal of competing for a regional or English belt – and has former WBC super-middleweight champion Richie Woodhall in his corner.

“It’s a challenge. I’m doing this because it’s a challenge. Simple as that,” Ferdinand said. “I’ve won titles and now I’m aiming for a belt.”

The first step is to train and be assessed by the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBOC) – who will make a decision on whether Ferdinand should be given a licence.

The former defender has committed to training three times a week with Woodhall, and the rest of the time with former rugby union player Mel Deane, and has given a glimpse of his movement on Instagram.

Dodging Rain Drops.... Reaction Drill... Keep Moving!! ���� @chrisvarnavas

A post shared by Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) on

Ferdinand obviously enjoys boxing, with his Twitter profile showing him posing with Anthony Joshua’s heavyweight belts.

This video he posted on the site a few months ago gave fans a taste of his pad work.

But a major personality taking such a risk, in such a public way, comes with its pitfalls.

And one of those are former teammates on social media.

Gary Neville wasn’t the only one to bring up Nemanja Vidic, who formed a formidable partnership with Ferdinand at United.

Elsewhere, some people had theories as to why Ferdinand was now deciding to take up boxing.

For the record, Ferdinand “is a fitness fanatic who is always looking to challenge himself, and Defender To Contender offers him the opportunity to take on a new challenge in his life,” according to Betfair.

The betting company created the challenge for United’s former number five, saying they want to give fans an “exciting sporting narrative to get behind”.

There’s not complete support for Ferdinand though, with some people wondering if it’s the right decision.

But someone who’s been there and done it, Curtis Woodhouse, is supportive of Ferdinand.

Woodhouse played for the likes of Sheffield United and Birmingham before making the switch to boxing at 26, winning his first 10 professional fights.

The 37-year-old went on to twice win the English light-welterweight title.

If nothing else though, Ferdinand’s foray into boxing has at least given people the opportunity to make this joke.

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From Belfast Telegraph