​Rio Ferdinand has made the surprising/surreal announcement that he is going to become a professional boxer. The former Manchester United star, who turns 39 in November accepted an offer from Betfair to step into the boxing ring.

It is a decision that has been questioned and criticised by some, even former teammate Gary Neville has mocked Rio for embarking on this adventure. Neville took a light hearted dig at Ferdinand by tweeting...

Rio formed a legendary partnership with Vidic and out of the two most people would have had their money on Vidic becoming a professional boxer due to him being more aggressive and pro-active than Ferdinand. 

Rio has since replied to Neville's dig in brutal fashion...

Gary may yet get the last laugh if Rio gets KO'd and embarrassed in the ring, but Rio does have a top trainer in Team GB coach and former WBC super-middleweight champion Richie Woodhall.

Woodhall believes Rio has the potential to box professionally. Speaking to ​BBC Sport he said, "In all honesty, I think Rio can definitely box as a professional given time, he has natural power in his right hand, is extremely fit and is very enthusiastic to learn which is encouraging." 

"Style wise, he's very raw and I'll have to develop this, which will take time, but he has all the natural ingredients, height and reach advantages over boxers in his weight division and definitely has potential to win a title in the future."