- Rio Ferdinand has revealed that Anthony Joshua invited him to a sparring session
- The former Manchester United defender is being sponsored by Betfair
- The ex-England captain said he will want former teammate Nemanja Vidic to be by his corner in his professional boxing debut
World Boxing Association (WBA) champion Anthony Joshua has offered to spar Rio Ferdinand as the former Manchester United defender begins his quest to win a professional boxing title.
The former England captain has teamed up with Betfair to make the transition from the football pitch to the ring.
The 38-year-old does not yet hold a boxing licence but will be trained by former world champion Richie Woodhall.
And Ferdinand, who will fight at cruiserweight, revealed he has already spoken to heavyweight world champion Joshua.
"We were on a plane together and he offered to help me," he said.
"He invited me to the gym for sparring."
Ferdinand will be paid by Betfair for this venture but insisted he is taking it seriously.
"It wasn't a difficult decision; when Betfair approached me it was a quick yes," he added.
"I've got a good team around me and it's about testing myself.
"All of my career I've been used to competition and I've missed that since I retired.
The Champions League winner has revealed that he would want former teammate Nemanja Vidic in his corner when he makes his professional boxing debut, because he took some hits for him out on the pitch.
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Betfair is currently assembling a team of fighters who will help Ferdinand get in tip-top shape ahead of a debut bout, which has yet to be decided.
He will be working with former WBC super-middleweight champion turned Team GB trainer, Richie Woodhall, who has already devised him a schedule.
On the other hand, NAIJ.com recently visited the family house of boxing king Anthony Joshua in Sagamu, Ogun state Nigeria: