Rio Ferdinand, England and Manchester United legend, is to become a professional boxer aged 38.
According to The Telegraph he’s to make an announcement tomorrow, showing he’s already got the hang of the hype angle of the sport.
Rio has been posting images on his Instagram this year of him in training.
In a back garden training vid, he shows some crazy hand speed doing pad work while calling out British stars Anthony Joshua, David Haye and Tony Bellew.
— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) January 11, 2017
Mid-punch, he says:
Tony Bellew? I’m here. I’m waiting. I’m ready, pal. Are you ready?
David Haye, you want some? I’m here, mate. I’m here. Working.
AJ, we had a holiday together, mate, Dubai. I’ll take you out. I will cut you down. I’ll take you out, AJ! Come on, son! You want some!
Ferdinand follows in the footsteps of Curtis Woodhouse, the former Sheffield United striker who turned professional boxer and who later became British light-welterweight champion.
Rio still needs to get hold of his license before stepping into the ring competitively.
This summer Rio revealed how keeping in shape helped him cope with the death of his wife, Rebecca Ellison.
In March the BBC’s heartwarming documentary Being Mum and Dad showed how boxing helped Ferdinand deal with the loss of his wife to cancer and how it helped his grieving process.
In July he told Men’s Health:
I’m simply happier when I’m in the gym and working out, and I think everything else flows better when I’m doing that. It invigorates me and calms me at the same time.
Ever a forbidding presence in the box, Rio’s sure to instil fear in the ring.
Tim Horner is a sub-editor at UNILAD. He graduated with a BA Journalism from University College Falmouth before most his colleagues were born. A previous editor of adult mags, he now enjoys bringing the tone down in the viral news sector.