After retiring from football two years ago, Rio Ferdinand will launch a professional boxing career.

The news was announced on Tuesday and will be backed by betting company Betfair.

Speaking at a press conference, Ferdinand is looking to be successful in the sport of boxing.

I’m doing this because it’s a challenge,

I’ve won titles and now I’m aiming for a belt.

Ferdinand has posted videos of himself boxing with personal trainer Mel Deane and will be coached by former world champion and Team GB coach Richie Woodhall.

Betfair approached Ferdinand about the switch and will help him qualify for his licence from the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBC) before he begins training.

BBBC general secretary Robert Smith was surprised by the career move, but, an application for a licence has not been received.

I was completely surprised,

We don’t have an application, so there’s nothing to consider. Nor have we had any conversation with anybody regarding this.