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Betfair put Rio in the Ring

2017-09-28 14:47:55

The Pendleton Precedent

Of course, this is not the first sporting crossover that Betfair has managed. Two years ago, Betfair sponsored cycling sensation Victoria Pendleton in her switch to National Hunt horse racing. The Olympic cyclist made the switch to horse racing and spent 12 months in arduous training before competing at the equine Olympics, the Cheltenham Festival.

Pendleton defied the majority of her critics, managing to complete a fifth-placed finish on Pacha Du Polder in the Foxhunter Chase. Even staying in the saddle for the duration of the race was a feat in itself for such an inexperienced rider, and Betfair will be hoping Rio Ferdinand completes his switch with similar success.

From Defender to Contender

The switch has been smartly named as 'Defender to Contender', and it will start with Rio Ferdinand applying for a British Boxing Board of Control licence. Once this has been received, the aim would be for Ferdinand to compete in a number of fights within the next 12 months.

Rio Ferdinand Statement

When asked about the highly surprising switch, former England and Manchester United lynchpin Ferdinand said: "Boxing is an amazing sport for the mind and the body. I have always had a passion for it and this challenge is the perfect opportunity to show people what's possible. It's a challenge I'm not taking lightly, clearly, not everyone can become a professional boxer, but with the team of experts Betfair are putting together and the drive I have to succeed, anything is possible."