Rio Ferdinand is launching a new career as a boxer, just two years after hanging up his boots and loaded has already drawn up a short-list of potential opponents.
The former Manchester United man is set to train with ex-middleweight champions Richie Woodhall with a view to competing in a full-blown professional bout. But if Ferdinand really wants to draw the punters in, he might be better served by tapping up a fellow Premier League legend to go 12 rounds with him.
There are plenty of viable candidates too and loaded has already done the hard work for Rio with a shortlist of seven names who could all be up for going toe-to-toe with the big man. Let’s begin…
Savage may not strike you as the obvious choice but he’s got a competitive streak in him and could probably handle himself when push comes to shove. Make it a charity boxing match and he’d definitely be up for it too, while Savage’s status as a motor-mouthed football pundit is probably all the motivation Rio needs to start swinging the moment that bell rings.
Not only does Terry boast the most punchable face in the entire history of the Premier League, but he’s also got previous history with the Ferdinand family, meaning Rio will have no qualms about decking his old England teammate. Could be the perfect way to put all of those Terry vs Ferdinand debates to bed, once and for all.
Oh come on, you knew his name would feature± Arguably the toughest, or at least scariest, man in the history of the English game, Ferdinand vs Keane may end up looking like Scooby Doo vs Scrappy Doo in the ring but something tells us the Irishman wouldn’t go down without a fight, Rocky Balboa style. That or he would beat the living hell out of Rio. Either way, it would be lively.
They had each other’s backs on numerous occasions as Manchester United teammates, so imagine the high drama if these two ended up going up against each other. Not to mention the fact that Vidic definitely has something of the Ivan Dragos about him – he “will break” Rio, meaning this could be the closest fight of the lot!
With the blockbuster movie work beginning to dry up and Jones an increasingly distant memory in the world of football, a fight against Ferdinand could be the perfect occasion for the world’s most dubious Welsh international to show just how crazy the Crazy Gang really were. Jones has had fights and will have fights again – Rio is the perfect opponent.
Someone needs to represent Manchester City here and with Vincent Kompany either busy in the City first team or injured, that responsibility could go to bit-part City star Yaya Toure. The Ivorian has been out of contention for much of the season so far, but regularly made a mockery of Ferdinand when the two players went up against each other in the Manchester derby. Time for Rio to get revenge? Well, only if Yaya can be arsed.
Of course, what better fight than a battle between the Premier League’s greatest defender and the division’s greatest ever striker! Shearer has shown his pedigree on plenty of occasions down the years too, from that clash with Neil Lennon to the time he knocked Keith Gillespie out while on a trip with Newcastle United back in the late 90s. They are both tough as nails and this has the potential to be bigger than Mayweather vs McGregor. It has to happen.