WHEN Rio Ferdinand recently announced he hoped to become a professional boxer, scorn was poured on his plans by several boxing insiders but super-middleweight Chris Eubank Jnr was not one of them.
Eubank Jnr – who recently returned from Las Vegas where he spent time with Floyd Mayweather in the lead-up to the Conor McGregor circus – immediately tweeted Ferdinand upon his announcement and offered his services as a sparring partner. Needless to say, the 38-year-old former England and Manchester United defender is yet to reply.
“He [Ferdinand] is a great man and if he wants to do it, he will do it,” said Eubank, who takes on Avni Yildirim in the World Boxing Super Series on October 7 in Stuttgart.
Eubank Jnr fails to see why Ferdinand’s plans is bad for the sport.
“Even with the Floyd and Conor fight, people said it was bad for boxing but anything that puts the spotlight on boxing, I don’t see how it is bad – but it has to be a good spotlight.
“One fight cannot taint boxing, it is an entire entity, this is one fight, one situation where a footballer is training for a fight, [cricketer] Freddie Flintoff did it. It is not serious, he is not sayting he will become a world champion, he has a passion for the sport.
“It’s no different to the white collar guys or people who fight for charity, people just have that passion and want to fight. They want to try it because they have thought about it for years and they finally get the opportunity.
“It just happens that this guy is a former Manchester United player. I don’t see why he should be treated any differently. It is going to bring more attention to the sport.
“Kids who never even thought about boxing might see Rio do it and think ‘if he is doing it then maybe I will try’ and then maybe they will turn out to be a great fighter.”
Ferdinand is yet to apply for licence from the British Boxing Board of Control, but Eubank Jnr again insisted he’d more than happy to help should the switch to boxing be approved.
“I Tweeted and told him I am here if he wants to move around a bit. He has not got back to me.”