Adebayo Akinfenwa Claims He’ll Sleep Rio Ferdinand in a Boxing Bout

Betfair’s mission to turn Rio Ferdinand into a professional boxer has drawn some attention from a 16-stone footballer known as the Beast.

Rio Ferdinand boxing

Footballer Adebayo Akinfenwa says he’ll KO Rio Ferdinand (pictured) if they ever step into a boxing ring together. (Image: YouTube/Betfair)

Although Ferdinand and Adebayo Akinfenwa rarely crossed paths on the pitch when the former was an active player, they could end up meeting in the ring as part of Betfair’s defender to contender challenge.

When the online betting operator first announced its deal Ferdinand back in September, it did so with the intention of helping the ex-footballer take on a pro-level boxer.

Footballers Could Collide in the Ring

However, with Ferdinand deep into his new training regime, it looks as though a clash with Akinfenwa could be on the cards following a talkSPORT interview. When asked how he’d fare against Ferdinand in the ring, a confident Akinfenwa said there would only be one person going to sleep and it wouldn’t be him.

Weighing in at 16-stone and known for his physicality on the pitch, the Wycombe Wanderers striker certainly isn’t short of size or strength. However, with Ferdinand working with former world champion Richie Woodhall, Akinfenwa would likely face a skill deficit if he stepped into the ring.

Despite the potential mismatch, the 35-year-old footballer would be more than happy to see if Betfair’s challenge has been a success.

“If I put the gloves on, I think I’d put Rio to sleep,” Akinfenwa told talkSPORT on November 8.

No Plans but Ferdinand is Training Hard

When pressed, Akinfenwa admitted that he hadn’t been in talks with either Rio or Betfair about a potential fight and insisted he’s concentrating on his football career at the moment.

However, he did close the interview by suggesting that sparks would fly if they did collide and that fans should “watch this space” for something in the future.

According to the latest update from Betfair, Ferdinand has been in Dubai this month as part of his training. Covered in a video update (see below), the latest sessions with trainer Woodhall have seen the contender work on his distance management and punching technique.

At this stage, Ferdinand is still a novice in the sport, but his coach has said he looks like a completely different boxer in the space of just four sessions. Regardless of who he eventually steps into the ring with, it’s clear the former footballer is taking his challenge extremely seriously.

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