Former Sheffield United midfielder Curtis Woodhouse offers Rio Ferdinand one piece of boxing advice

Former Sheffield United midfielder turned boxer Curtis Woodhouse has taken to Twitter to offer Rio Ferdinand advice on the sport.

Tuesday, 19th September 2017, 1:14 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th September 2017, 1:20 pm
Curtis Woodhouse - Picture: Dean Woolley

The 38-year-old former England captain announced today that he will attempt to become a professional boxer and challenge for a title.

Ferdinand, who made over 300 appearances for Manchester United before retiring in 2015, will take part in Betfair's 'Defender to Contender' project.

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The former footballer will be hoping to emulate the success of former Sheffield United and Birmingham City footballer Curtis Woodhouse who won the British light-welterweight title in 2012.

He dethroned champion Darren Hamilton to win the belt and took to Twitter today to offer Ferdinand some advice on the sport.

"My advice to Rio would be show the game the respect it deserves. This is no joke, you can die "playing" boxing. I wish him well," Woodhouse said.

He added: "Wish Rio Ferdinand all the very best if he decides to give pro boxing a go. Who is anybody to say what he can or can't do. Live ya life."

Rio Ferdinand - Credit: John Walton/PA Wire

Woodhouse believes that Ferdinand could be trying to rediscover his competitive edge if he takes to the ring.

"When it came up on my Twitter feed that Rio Ferdinand was going to become a professional boxer I thought I'd been hacked," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"It's not something you read every day is it? I was shocked in that aspect.

"One thing that I missed - I've been retired three years myself - and one thing I missed and he's probably going through himself at the minute is the competitiveness of being an athlete. That nervousness, that tension.

Rio Ferdinand - Credit: John Walton/PA Wire

"Once that's taken away from you it's very, very difficult to replace it, so that's probably what he's chasing to get that competitiveness back in his life."

Woodhouse also believes it will take Ferdinand a lengthy period of time to get to grips with the technical aspects of boxing.

"The training and everything didn't take me by surprise but I found learning the technical side of the game really difficult," he added.

"There's a lot of things go on in a boxing ring that you don't realise until you get in there. It takes a long, long time to feel comfortable in the boxing ring.

"Your ego will take a bit of a knock. He's going to have to get used to a few setbacks along the way. He'll definitely struggle with the technical side of the game."