Rio Ferdinand refused professional boxing licence

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No boxing gloves: Rio Ferdinand

Rio Ferdinand has been refused a professional Boxing licence, the former Manchester United and England defender revealed on Thursday.

Ferdinand, who retired from football in 2015, vowed to launch a career as a professional boxer last September.


The 39-year-old stated it was his intention to challenge for a belt, but the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoC) has told him it will not be reviewing his application.

In a statement posted to Facebook, Ferdinand said: “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’s Defender to Contender challenge.

“Despite having never felt better physically or mentally, after notifying the British BoxingBoard 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.”

Ferdinand had been coached by Richie Woodhall, the former WBC super-middleweight champion.

He added: “To not be given the chance to demonstrate my ability to the BBBoC through the standard assessment afforded to others is hard to take.

“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.”

Ferdinand won the Premier League title on six occasions with Manchester United and was capped by England 81 times. He now works as a pundit for BT Sport.

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Tyson Fury insists he would not attempt a comeback if he didn't think he could defeat Anthony Joshua

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Tyson Fury insists he would not be attempting a comeback if he thought he was unable to defeat world heavyweight champion and British rival Anthony Joshua.

Personal issues and legal troubles have kept Fury out of the ring since November 2015, when he defeated Wladimir Klitschko for the WBA, IBF and WBO titles which are all now in Joshua’s possession.

Fury will resume his unbeaten professional career on June 9 at the Manchester Arena against an as-yet unnamed opponent, with all roads leading to an eventual showdown with Joshua.

Asked whether he believes he can defeat Joshua, Fury told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “Of course I do or I wouldn’t be sat here today. I’d be off in Spain drinking a sangria somewhere.

“Of course I think I have the ability, I just think I have too much movement and natural boxing skill to lose to somebody like that. He’s very tough and strong and he has a lot of learned ability but he doesn’t have the natural gift of the sweet science.

“I’m very proud of what he’s done, he’s achieved a lot in the sport and he’s an inspiration to young people coming through. But hold on to the throne because I’ll be taking it back. Everyone in heavyweight boxing know who the real champion is.”

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Amir Khan is back in business but Kell Brook fight is now or never

Alex Rea 22/04/2018
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Amir Khan is back on top.

Amir Khan’s career has been hallmarked by speed so it was apt that on his return to the boxing ring after two years away, he belted Phil Lo Greco and then bolted after just 39 seconds.

The 31-year-old needed to shine bright in Liverpool on Saturday – his first fight on English soil for five years – to refocus the attention on his blistering boxing skills rather than turbulent nature of his private life.

And he did so in typical Khan fashion – electrically. The former unified light-welterweight champ is a fighter who can polarise opinion with his intoxicating blend of speed and slick skill but often offset by a misplaced arrogance outside the squared circle.

However, the chorus of satisfied customers in a sold-out Echo Arena would suggest the Khan brand is more popular than ever.

Hard to comprehend it, but he’s quicker than ever, too.

Indeed, in July 2016 Khan visited Dubai with concerns over his health after suffering a savage KO to Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez at middleweight, his right-hand in cast after surgery to repair a long-standing injury and a reputation in ruin having chased and subsequently failed to secure a money-spinning clash with Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao.

Now, he’s back and given the big names swelling the welterweight division from 147lbs up, the British-Pakistani pugilist is right in the mix domestically and beyond.

As it transpired, there was no ring rust as Khan made easy work of Lo Greco, decking the Canadian challenger inside 20 seconds and then detonating a flurry of left-hands on the ropes to force the finish.

Excitement should be tempered by the class of opponent. Lo Greco, after all, is not particularly good, although he went the distance in defeat to Shawn Porter and was stopped in three by Errol Spence Jr – a fighter at the top of the welterweight heap.

But Khan reminded us all he is still an elite talent and more than a welcome addition to a loaded 147lbs division.

Naturally, British boxing fans will hope a blockbuster bout with Kell Brook is lined up for later this year.

That showdown is an easy sell to a British audience and there would be considerable interest from the American networks for a grudge match of that magnitude, even without title gold at stake.

Khan, though, would appear to prefer a belt wrapped around his waist again before exploring the Brook clash.

“I want to become a world champion again so I want to fight the top guys in the welterweight division,” Khan said post-fight with Brook in the ring.

“I’m a 147lbs fighter. I moved up to 150lbs for this fight because I’ve not been in the ring for two years. That (Brook) fight I’m not rushing and I’m not running away from.

“I will fight Kell Brook and I will beat Kell Brook. I’m a better fighter and a stronger fighter. I’m not a fighter to run away. I came to Eddie (Hearn) and signed a deal with your promotional company, Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom company. I’m chasing you, remember that.”

Brook returned to action with a stunning second-round stoppage of Sergey Rabchenko in March but at the much more comfortable light-middleweight limit of 154lbs.

Whether the former IBF welterweight champ could drain himself back down to 147lbs remains to be seen and weight could form a major stumbling block for any potential talks with Khan.

Were it come to fruition, though, Brook would be confident of countering Khan’s blistering speed.

“I’m not Lo Greco, I’m Kell Brook, ‘The Special One’ and I will deal with him,” said Brook ringside working for Sky Sports.

“I know he’s got very fast hands. I’ve sparred with him. He’s got the fastest hands I’ve been in with. Timing beats speed, I’m a seasoned pro, I will land that bomb on him, that brownie. I’ll destroy him.”

Both fighters are in the dying embers of their athletic prime, but both have breathed back into their careers following brutal defeats.

It’s now or never if we are to finally see the two in opposite corners, Khan needing to show the same haste as he did on his ring return to get the fight done. Regardless British boxing is bringing the fire.

WHO COULD BE NEXT FOR KING KHAN?

Kell Brook

Khan insists he will remain at 147lbs ruling out a potential domestic dust-up with his bitter rival Brook who looks comfortable at 154lbs. Still, a catchweight at 150lbs is a realistic possibility.

Manny Pacquiao

Khan has long campaigned for a money-spinning clash with one of Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather. Should Pacquiao beat Lucas Matthysse in July, the Filipino could finally grant Khan his wish.

Manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan back in 2015

Manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan back in 2015

Keith Thurman

The WBA and WBC champ is an option should Khan want to explore fighting in the States again. Thurman is out injured, however, having not fought since his March 2017 win over Danny Garcia.

Errol Spence Jr

The 28-year-old American announced himself as a truly elite star with his destruction of Brook to capture the IBF welterweight strap. Khan fancies his chances against the unbeaten southpaw.

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