Defender to Contender: The Harsh Truth

Many people have been split over this news, for there will always be critics for whatever is done, it keeps news relevant and people must always thank their critics. So when ex-footballer Rio Ferdinand decided to spontaneously pursue a career in boxing at the age of 38, we all said “hang on a second”.

People have their different reasons for criticising and for the people defending him, and that’s quite interesting in itself… You wouldn’t see or hear of such a statement if an amateur boxer decided to turn professional, in fact most of the time they hardly receive the promotion and media they deserve.

Rio Ferdinand is an athlete, everyone should remember that. He’s not some fat guy who’s been doing nothing all of his life and just has a bit of fame. But then again just look at Freddie Flintoff who decided to give it a go and was heavily criticised for it. True hardcore boxing fans are sick and tired of seeing their sport turn into a joke. That’s something everyone external from boxing just doesn’t seem to understand.

38 is an old age for a professional boxer, let alone for someone just making their debut. The body starts to wear down and it becomes what it wasn’t. It’s sad and harsh. If Rio is going to take this seriously, he needs to consider the risks he is taking having never boxed before. Although with that said, make the most of what you’ve got.

You can be written off all you like but if you want to do it then, hell a couple of critics here and there aren’t going to stop you, are they? It may seem ridiculous of course, but he can do it. No one likes being told no and he has established himself as an athlete. Forget football because it is just a different craft and the tools are different. Just like a plumber wanting to become a carpenter, he is in another trade but having excelled in one area, there’s absolutely no reason why he can’t have a go at another.

I don’t know what he’s going through personally and to be honest I’m way to lazy to look up Rio Ferdinand’s personal life. What I can say is if he is having problems, then boxing is one way to channel his emotions.

Hopefully everyone will start realising the bigger picture, Ferdinand isn’t going to stop because a few Facebook comments say so, he wants to do it and my god let him attempt it. As a fan of boxing I can understand it seems foolish, another person with no boxing experience stepping into the squared ring for glory seems ludicrous. Forget football, think sport athlete. He has developed his name and achieved more than the average amateur boxer.

Should he be given a professional boxing license? With a top team behind him and taking it seriously, then yes. If journeymen can get licenses then Rio Ferdinand most certainly should.

Good luck Rio and welcome to the sport of boxing!

Chandler Waller

Chandler Waller is a young and fresh journalist at the age of 21 years old. He has held freelance positions throughout his career including The Tab, BOXRAW and The Daily Touch. Formerly a journalist under the agency Prose Media, Chandler now works directly for himself.