Barry Hearn, British boxing promoter,  has advised former Manchester United fullback Rio Ferdinand to rethink his decision to go into pro boxing, insisting that it is nothing but a suicide mission.

Ferdinand disclosed yesterday that he was set to launch a new career as a professional boxer, two years after he retired from football.

The 38-year-old’s move into the ring is being backed by betting company Betfair.

Ferdinand at the moment works as a TV pundit and he has his own clothing line.

Hearn told BBC Radio 5  yesterday that Ferdinand’s move was to say the least laughable and dangerous.

Hear him: “It’s laughable. I like Rio, don’t get me wrong, but this is an advert for a reality TV show. If Tony Bellew, David Haye or Anthony Joshua hit Rio Ferdinand it would probably be prosecutable by the police for using a deadly weapon. He could get himself badly hurt. It’s OK if it’s just a bit of fun, making a TV show and making some money. I wish him luck, I hope he enjoys it but be very careful because it’s dangerous. He could get badly hurt and no promoter is going to sanction that. He’s being totally naive and underestimating boxing.”

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