Ferdinand refused professional boxing licence by British Boxing Board of Control
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. His challenge was being backed by betting company Betfair.
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 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."
Ferdinand had been coached by Richie Woodhall, the former WBC super-middleweight champion.