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Rio Ferdinand’s boxing debut is not as far away as you might have expected.

The Manchester United legend shocked the world in September, when he announced that he was set to try his hand at pugilism.

Ferdinand revealed that he was hoping to be granted a boxing licence for a professional fight in 2018 and while it has been written off by some fighters as no more than a publicity stunt, he seems to be taking his training very seriously.

Having initially said that he was just looking to have one fight, it appears as though the 39-year-old, who will fight at cruiserweight, is entertaining the idea of multiple bouts next year.

The ex-England international revealed the targeted date of his debut while speaking to former United teammate Cristiano Ronaldo for Ferdinand’s YouTube channel FIVE.

“February,” Ferdinand said after Ronaldo asked when he would making his debut. “But then after, in June or July, I’ll have another fight. You should come.”

There has been no mention of Ferdinand’s first opponent but, in all likelihood, the former defender will be paired up with a somewhat inexperienced fighter who probably has a losing record.

Ferdinand’s decision to step foot in the boxing ring has been a divisive one in the boxing community.

While Tony Bellew has accused Ferdinand of “making a mockery of our sport,” Anthony Joshua has reportedly offered to spar the newcomer to help him prepare.

“We were on a plane together and he [AJ] offered to help me,” Ferdinand said.

“He…



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