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Rio Ferdinand takes punches from Mel Deane in training

  • Rio Ferdinand has enlisted the help of Mel Deane as he prepares for his first fight
  • The former Manchester United and England footballer is giving pro boxing a go
  • Ferdinand trained with Deane, who is a former Harlequins centre, on Wednesday
  • Deane punched Ferdinand’s abs while the 36-year-old clung to a piece of gym kit
  • Ferdinand shared the video on Instagram with the words: ‘And we begin…’
  • Fitness instructor Deane shared it too, writing: ‘ Ferdinand taking a few digs!’

Ex-England and Manchester United footballer Rio Ferdinand continued to prepare for his first professional boxing fight this week… by training with a former rugby player. 

Ferdinand, 38, is launching a boxing career with the help of Betfair, who are funding his ‘Defender to Contender’ challenge.

He has enlisted the help of fitness instructor Mel Deane, once of Harlequins and then Sale Sharks.

Rio Ferdinand was filmed ‘taking a few digs’ from former rugby player Mel Deane this week

It was part of a training routine which saw Ferdinand holding onto a piece of gym equipment

It was part of a training routine which saw Ferdinand holding onto a piece of gym equipment

Ferdinand shared a video of himself and Deane working together on Wednesday morning.

Deane wore boxing gloves as he jabbed into the abs of Ferdinand, who was hanging onto a large piece of gym apparatus.

In between rounds of punches, Ferdinand demonstrated his strength as he pulled his legs up above his head.

Ferdinand shared the footage with his 2.4million Instagram followers, writing the caption: ‘And we begin….. Mel Deane providing the rib shots this morning!!’

The ex-footballer was punched repeatedly in the abs before pulling his legs above his head

The ex-footballer was punched repeatedly in the abs before pulling his legs above his head

Former England captain Ferdinand shared the video via Instagram, writing: 'And we begin...'

Former England captain Ferdinand shared the video via Instagram, writing: ‘And we begin…’

Dean also posted the video. He wrote: ‘Rio Ferdinand taking a few digs!’

It is not yet known who Ferdinand will fight, when the contest will take place or at what venue.

But Ferdinand is adamant his venture into the fight game will be a serious one.

Fellow footballer-turned boxer Curtis Woodhouse has warned Ferdinand that he is taking a big risk.

Woodhouse tweeted: ‘My advice to Rio would be show the game the respect it deserves. This is no joke, you can die “playing” boxing. I wish him well’.

Deane (centre) is a fitness instructor who used to play professional rugby for Harlequins

Deane (centre) is a fitness instructor who used to play professional rugby for Harlequins

Thirty-eight-year-old Ferdinand is preparing to become a professional boxer in association with Betfair

Ferdinand, 38, is preparing to become a professional boxer in association with Betfair

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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