Ferdinand ‘isn’t licensed’

Rio Ferdinand’s boxing announcement was “surprising” to the British Boxing Board of Control because he hasn’t applied for a licence yet, the organisation claim.

The ex-Manchester United and England footballer revealed his intention to step into the ring on Monday night but hasn’t yet gone through the necessary procedural steps, according to the BBBofC.

“It was surprising that anybody would announce anything without contacting the governing body,” BBBofC general secretary Robert Smith told Sky Sports.

“I have not received an application so there’s nothing to consider. I heard, for the first time, on the radio [on Monday night].

“If we receive an application we will consider it, as we have to do. But we’ve had no correspondence from Mr. Ferdinand.”

Asked about former England cricketer Freddie Flintoff’s sole boxing match in 2012, Smith added: “Freddie Flintoff went through a training period for over six months before he even considered applying.”

Ferdinand is nearly 39-years-old but, since retiring from football, has frequently posted social media clips of himself in boxing training.