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Rio Ferdinand’s boxing ambitions focused on one fight

Former footballer does not see boxing as a new sporting career

Rio Ferdinand with boxer Anthony Joshua. The former England captain has confirmed his boxing ambitions are modest. Photograph: Nick Potts/PA

Rio Ferdinand has revealed his aim in boxing stretches little further than having one fight.

The former footballer, who played for Manchester United and England, announced last month that he is attempting to switch sports at the age of 38 and has been backed by bookmakers Betfair.

Ferdinand had previously said he had ambitions of challenging for a belt but has now admitted he does not see the move into boxing as a change of career.

He told BBC Breakfast: “I want to see if I can get a licence and become a professional and have one fight. I am not looking to have a career here. I am looking to have a professional fight and I will see where I go then.”

Despite his admission, Ferdinand was adamant his attempt to become a boxer was something he is taking seriously.

He said: “This is not a joke. Hopefully, I will get a license, go on to become a professional and fight someone. Boxing can’t be a gimmick. If I take it lightly, I will get hurt.”

If Ferdinand successfully obtains a license from the British Boxing Board of Control, he will follow fellow former footballers Curtis Woodhouse, Leon McKenzie and Leo Roget in doing so.

However, his career plans more closely mirror former England cricketer Andrew Flintoff, who won his only professional fight over four two-minute rounds against American Richard Dawson at Manchester Arena in 2012.