Rio Ferdinand is launching a new career as a professional boxer, two years after he retired from football.
The 38-year-old’s move into the ring is being backed by betting company Betfair, which announced the news on Tuesday.
Former Manchester United and England defender Ferdinand works as a TV pundit and he has his own clothing line.
He has posted several social media videos in recent months showing him boxing and working with personal trainer Mel Deane.
Ferdinand, who won the Premier League six times and the Champions League once during his time in Manchester, may follow in the footsteps of former Birmingham City midfielder Curtis Woodhouse and former Crystal Palace forward Leon McKenzie, who became professional boxers after quitting football. Woodhouse became British super-lightweight champion.
Former England cricket captain Andrew Flintoff also launched a boxing career after retiring, winning his only pro bout in December 2012 against American Richard Dawson at Manchester Arena on points.