Yesterday, we were hit with the shock news that Rio Ferdinand is launching a professional boxing career. This may come as a surprise to many and it certainly did to us. So we thought this might be something that matched bettors might like to know a bit more about.
If you haven’t seen this video it’s well worth a watch!
A new sport. A new goal. #DefenderToContender @RioFerdy5: “I’ve won titles, now I’m aiming for a belt.” pic.twitter.com/fdAjPwoSmg
— DefenderToContender (@Betfair) September 19, 2017
Rio Ferdinand Through the Years
Rio Ferdinand started his football career back when he was a youngster. He played in a number of youth teams and made his Premier League debut in 1996, playing for West Ham United. He soon moved club for a record breaking fee of £18 million.
After a two year spell at Leeds he transferred to Manchester United in 2002 for around £30 million.
At the time this figure re-broke the transfer record. Compared to modern football transfer fees, it’s pittance!
That first year at Manchester Utd couldn’t have gone any better for Ferdinand, with the team winning their 8th Premier League title since the trophy had changed name.
The following season Rio missed a drugs test which meant he was banned from action for 8 months. He had to watch from the sideline as Man Utd won the FA Cup and England took part in the Euro 2004 competition.
Over the next few years Rio’s name became a foundation on the team sheet, playing at centre-back.
The Man Utd team got back to winning ways in the 2006/07 season, going on to win the Premier League and Champions League double the following season.
Rio left with his head held high at the end of his contract in 2014, a year after Sir Alex Ferguson left the club. Overall Rio Ferdinand won 14 trophies, including 6 premier league titles, with Man Utd.
He went on to do one more season at newly promoted Queens Park Rangers. However, this didn’t pan out that well and QPR were relegated that same season. That meant they couldn’t afford to keep Rio and they had to let him go.
Rio Ferdinand is undoubtedly one of the England’s best players and he is among the most decorated of English footballers.
Rio Ferdinand After Football
You’ve probably seen Rio on TV as a football pundit over the last few years. After finishing his season at QPR, Rio signed a three year deal with BT Sport. It’s always great to hear what ex footballers think of a game and their analysis is invariably insightful.
Since retiring from football, Rio has been a big advocate of keeping fit, posting a lot to his social media accounts. Perhaps it was inevitable Ferdinand would move into boxing?
Hmm.. maybe not!
In May 2015 Rio Ferdinand’s wife, Rebecca Ellison, died suddenly of breast cancer. When the cancer was initially diagnosed the prognosis was that Rebecca had 2 to 5 years to live. However, she died 5 weeks later.
This obviously hit Rio and his three children hard, however, in classic Ferdinand fashion they put on a brave face and made it through in the best way they could!
Rio Ferdinand Boxing
Over the past few months Rio has posted various videos on social media showing him boxing and training. These were obviously hints about a forthcoming career move to professional boxing…
I know, we didn’t get the hints either!
Rio Ferdinand is being backed by Betfair, one of the betting industries largest online companies. It seems that Betfair were the ones who approached Rio about the switch to Boxing, much like their advance on Victoria Pendleton. She was backed by Betfair when she made the change from being an Olympic Cyclist to a Cheltenham Jockey.
Victoria came 5th when she took part in the Foxhunter Chase in March 2016. So if that’s anything to go by, Rio Ferdinand might be in with a shot at a title.
‘I’m doing this because it’s a challenge, I’ve won titles and now I’m aiming for a belt.’
It’s happening… Can’t wait to get started with the team @betfair have put together, @richiewoodhall and @meldeane ? #DefenderToContender pic.twitter.com/s6AmLRo7DN
— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) September 19, 2017
Here’s what a spokesperson from Betfair said:
‘Betfair is dedicated to supporting Rio Ferdinand throughout this ground-breaking sporting transformation.’
‘Rio stood out as the perfect personality to undertake this challenge, as he knows all about the hard work and dedication it takes to succeed.’
‘With Rio’s sporting pedigree, our support network, and a lot of hard work, we’re all confident that Rio can compete for a belt.’
What Belt Would that Be?
Rio is likely to fit into the Cruiserweight category. This means he could take on the likes of Tony Bellew and David Haye. I’m not sure how he’d fare up against any of these awesome boxers !?
Conor McGregor vs Rio Ferdinand?
Probably not, but some people are keen for this to happen.
In my view this would be a little one sided and Rio would probably end up a little worse for wear!!
Matched Betting on Rio
Betsafe have made this whole story even more exciting by offering odds of 41.0 (40/1) that Rio Ferdinand will become a World Champion. Let’s hope we can place some bets using matched betting on Rio soon. We first need a lay market from a betting exchange to make this possible.
There are currently no matches arranged for Rio Ferdinand, however if he follows through on his word there are going to be quite a few bouts to look forward to.
Any fights that happen will bring a huge amount of attention and with that a large number of promotions and offers from the bookies.
Using matched betting we’ll be able to take advantage of a large number of these offers and make a profit online.
Is it Going to Work?
At 38, Rio Ferdinand is well past his athletic prime. However, it’s not the first time it’s been done. Andrew Flintoff did the same once he had retired from Cricket. Flintoff received quite a lot of criticism for that move and I’m sure Rio Ferdinand will face some similar judgements from the professional boxing world.
Overall, I think the aim of this move was just to advertise Betfair. Rio Ferdinand has probably agreed a huge sum with Betfair to take part in this marketing strategy.
Let’s see what happens!
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