Rio Ferdinand, the former Manchester United and England captain, is to attempt to become a professional boxer.
The 38-year-old has confirmed he is taking up the sport in what had been billed as a “major news announcement”.
Ferdinand, who is hoping to get his British Boxing Board of Control licence with the help of bookmaker Betfair, said on Tuesday morning: “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.”