- Rio Ferdinand has announced his retirement from boxing even without getting any professional fight
- The 39-year-old's application for boxing license was not approved by the body overseeing the sport in England
- And he has taken to his social media handle to express his disappointment at the BBBC's decision
Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has reportedly announced his retirement from boxing on his Instagram handle.
The 39-year-old England legend never fought any professional bout after the British Boxing Board of Control failed to grant him a licence.
Two years after hanging his boots at the club level, the former West Ham United defender shocked the entire footballing world with the news of his new found hobby – boxing.
His plan was to be a certified professional boxer with a sponsor already waiting to throw their weight behind him when he sets his career on motion.
However, his dreams of winning a boxing belt has been dashed after the BBBC denied him the chance to own a licence.
While reacting to their decision not to grant him the license for fight, he wrote: "Having been training 4-5 times a week since announcing the aim of achieving a professional boxing licence and stepping into the ring, it is with a heavy heart that I am hanging up my gloves on @betfair #DefendertoContender challenge.
"Despite having never felt better physically or mentally, after notifying the British Boxing Board of Control of my intention to apply for a licence, I have received confirmation that they would not be reviewing my application at this point in time.
"To say I'm disappointed by this decision is an understatement.
"To not be given the chance to demonstrate my ability to the BBBC through the standard assessment afforded to others is hard to take, not only for me, but also to @richie_woodhall, @meldeane12 and the countless others who have dedicated their time to my boxing development over the past five months.
"Boxing is a physically tough, demanding and dangerous sport. I always gave it my utmost respect and never underestimated how difficult it would be.
"I wanted to show people that it's OK to have a goal and strive to reach it.
"It's important to approach everything with success in mind, and to give it your all, but sometimes things work against you.
"The sport has given me a new focus and drive and is something I will continue to do as part of my fitness regime.
"I'd like to say thank you to Betfair, Richie Woodhall, Duke McKenzie, my team at @neweraglobalsports, the guys at @teamgb boxing and everyone who has supported me so far. It's been a great journey."
Ferdinand kicked off his career as a youth player at West Ham United in 1992, and after three seasons, he was promoted to the senior team.
Having spent five years with the Hammers, the central defender joined Leeds United in 2000 and in 2002; he was signed by Manchester United – where he spent 12 years and scored seven goals from 312 appearances.
He won one Champions League title, six Premier Leagues and a number of other domestic league titles during his reign at Old Trafford.
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