Who is Rio Ferdinand, why he is getting into boxing, and who’s his girlfriend Kate Wright?

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Who is Rio Ferdinand, why he is getting into boxing, and who’s his girlfriend Kate Wright?

RIO FERDINAND is making a shock switch to boxing.

The Manchester United star retired from football in 2015 after a trophy-laden career and he is now set for a professional fight in a ring. Here’s the lowdown…

Rio Ferdinand is set to enter the world of boxing
What do we know about Rio Ferdinand’s boxing match?

The former England international footballer announced in September last year he was switching sports in a partnership with bookmaker Betfair.

But he’ll never be able to get in the ring after he was refused a licence, The Sun’s Bizarre column reported.

A source said: “Because after that boxer died two months ago he was meant to be going for his licence and it’s a combination of the British board of boxing thinking it would look wrong and him also s******g it.

In an Instagram post, he 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 #DefendertoContender challenge.

“Despite having never felt better physically or mentally, After notifying the British Boxing Board 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. To not be given the chance to demonstrate my ability to the BBBoC through the standard assessment afforded to others is hard to take, not only for me, but also to @richie_woodhall, @meldeane12 and the countless others who have dedicated their time to my boxing development over the past five months.”

Rio Ferdinand heartbreakingly revealed he turned to alcohol to cope with the loss of his wifeRio Ferdinand has worked as a pundit since retiring from footballRex Features Who is Rio’s girlfriend?

Ferdinand and Kate Wright have made their romance public.

Ferdinand’s “soul mate” Ellison died from breast cancer in 2015, at the age of just 34, leaving him to raise their three children alone.

The England legend had to cope with the tragic loss of his wife, Rebecca Ellison. His mother, Janice St Fort, also died following a cancer battle – the second tragedy to hit former defender in just two years.

Towie's Kate Wright has been spotted getting close to Rio FerdinandTowie’s Kate Wright has been spotted getting close to Rio Ferdinand

https://www.instagram.com/p/BVSxCOkF_0L/?taken-by=xkatiewright&hl=en

After the death of his wife Ferdinand asked to be allowed to grieve in private as he continued to raise their three young children.

Since then he has worked tirelessly to help them grow up in the best way possible and has adapted to life as a single parent.

However, in January The Sun reported that Rio had “grown close” to 25-year-old reality TV star Kate Wright.

The pair met in Dubai shortly after Kate split with Towie co-star Dan Edgar.

Rio Ferdinand has so far refused to discuss new romance by declaring there is “no right time” to move on following the death of his wife.

But they went a step closer to going public after he introduced Kate to his children and then posted a pictured on social media of all of them wearing matching trainers.

When did Rio Ferdinand’s wife die? Rio Ferdinand tragically lost his wife in 2015 to breast cancerRio Ferdinand tragically lost his wife in 2015 to breast cancerPA:Press Association

Ferdinand told all about her battle with the illness and his life as a single dad of three in BBC One documentary called Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum and Dad.

He was hailed by celebs and TV fans alike who described him as a “warrior”, “brave” and a “brilliant dad”.

Rebecca passed away after a battle with breast cancer on May 2 2015, aged just 34.

The couple had been dating for several years before they married in 2009, three years after the couple gave birth to their first son.

Though she had been fighting the disease for a short time, the couple remained private about her ill health so it came as a huge shock when her death was announced.

In a statement he released to announce the news, Ferdinand said: “My soul mate slipped away last night.

“Rebecca, my wonderful wife, passed away peacefully after a short battle with cancer at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London.

“She was a fantastic loving mother to our three beautiful children. She will be missed as a wife, sister, aunt, daughter and granddaughter. She will live on in our memory, as a guide and inspiration.”

The 38-year-old opened up about his life as a widower in the hour-long BBC documentary Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum and Dad.

Rio Ferdinand bravely opens up about his wife and personal life since her deathBBC Rio Ferdinand bravely opens up about his wife and personal life since her death[/caption]

What has Rio Ferdinand revealed about his wife’s death?

In truly heartbreaking manner, Ferdinand has revealed he turned to alcohol in a bid to numb the pain felt from the loss of his ‘soul mate’.

The footballer said: “At the beginning I was drinking a lot at night time.

“We have a lady lucky enough who lives with us, she would go to bed and I’d come back down in the middle of the night and probably drink a lot for the first three or four months.

“I used to look at people or read stories and think, how can you be so selfish and commit suicide or attempt to commit suicide or whatever.

‘But I can actually sympathise now because I understand that you get to places where you think, if I didn’t have that network of people or my kids who I use as an inspiration to be able to get up and think straight, I can understand that.”

Rio Ferdinand has revealed his newfound respect for mums everywhere

Rio Ferdinand has revealed his newfound respect for mums everywhere

How many children does Rio Ferdinand have and what has he said about being a single parent?

The former football has three children – aged 6, 8 and 11 – all with former wife Rebecca.

Eldest son Lorenz was born in 2006, followed by second son Tate three years later.

The couple then had daughter Tia in 2011, and the family settled back into living in London after Ferdinand left Manchester United.

The ex-footballer has revealed his newfound respect for mums everywhere, saying his transition to being a multi-tasking single parent is somewhat overwhelming.

Ferdinand said: “There’s all this organisation and structure within a family home that men don’t see.

“Women are thinking constantly what needs doing; I used to wake up, get dressed, have some breakfast with them, and then I’d take them, drop them off and get out and go to training, and think I was doing my bit.

“But that’s the easy bit. Rebecca would fill in all the blanks that I wasn’t involved with, but now it’s a totally different scenario. Where are their shoes? Where are their clothes? Where are their bags?

“Then you get in the school playground and you’ve got parents coming up to you, ‘Can we take him to a play date? Would you have so-and-so?’ And your kid’s saying, ‘Can I bring so-and-so home?’

“And you’re just sitting there thinking, ‘Wow, this is mental’.”

Who did Rio Ferdinand play for? Rio Ferdinand and Ryan Giggs lift the Champions League trophy with Manchester United in 2008Rio Ferdinand and Ryan Giggs lift the Champions League trophy with Manchester United in 2008Getty Images

Ferdinand began his playing career in the West Ham first team aged just 17, following a successful loan spell at Bournemouth.

He made his England debut as an 18-year-old and was rated as one of the best young prospects in world football by the time Leeds United paid a club-record £18m to sign him in 2000.

Following an impressive display in the 2002 World Cup, Ferdinand became the most expensive player in British football when Manchester United paid £30m to sign him from Leeds.

Rio Ferdinand spent the early days of his career at West HamRio Ferdinand spent the early days of his career at West HamNews Group Newspapers Ltd

He spent 12 successful seasons at Old Trafford before he joined Queens Park Rangers on a free transfer for one year in 2014.

Over a 14-year international career Ferdinand made 81 appearances for his country and was appointed the national team captain in 2010.

1996-2000 – West Ham 1996-97 – Bournemouth (loan) 2000-2002 – Leeds 2002-2014 – Manchester United 2014-2015 – Queens Park Rangers
What is Rio’s net worth? Rio Ferdinand was rated as one of the best defenders in the world at his peakRio Ferdinand was rated as one of the best defenders in the world at his peakPA:Press Association

Though he retired from football in 2015, Ferdinand has continued to increase his net worth which is now estimated at £68million.

Ferdinand was one of the most highly paid English footballers of his generation, and also earned extra from lucrative endorsement deals.

From early in his career he also invested his money wisely in property, with a portfolio in the UK and in the Caribbean.

Since retirement he has worked as a pundit for BT Sport.

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