Rio Ferdinand retires from boxing: Former footballer suffers merciless backlash ...

Rio Ferdinand suffered a merciless backlash across social media on Thursday morning after the British Boxing Board of Control refused to review his application for a professional boxing licence.

The former centre back, who won 81 England caps during an illustrious playing career, had hoped to enter the ring as part of Betfair’s divisive Defender to Contender challenge.

But after the BBBC refused to consider his application, a disappointed Rio, 39, was forced to hang up his gloves before taking part in a single fight.

Banter: Rio Ferdinand suffered a merciless backlash across social media on Thursday morning after the British Boxing Board of Control refused to review his application for a professional boxing licence 

Banter: Rio Ferdinand suffered a merciless backlash across social media on Thursday morning after the British Boxing Board of Control refused to review his application for a professional boxing licence 

Big announcement: The former Manchester United defender, who won 81 England caps during an illustrious playing career, announced the news on Twitter

Big announcement: The former defender, who won 81 England caps during an illustrious playing career, announced the news on Twitter

Announcing the news on Twitter, he wrote: ‘Having been training 4-5 times a week since announcing the aim of achieving a professional boxing licence & stepping into the ring, it is with a heavy heart that I am hanging up my gloves on @Betfair #DefendertoContender challenge.’

While Rio's premature retirement was enforced by circumstances beyond his control, the highly decorated former sportsman still endured a barrage of acerbic tweets from followers. 

Amid sarcastic cries of 'undefeated,' one fan wrote: 'What a career Rio Ferdinand had! He will be sorely missed in the boxing world.' 

And so it begins: While Rio's premature retirement was enforced by circumstances beyond his control, the highly decorated former sportsman still endured a barrage of acerbic tweets from followers 

And so it begins: While Rio's premature retirement was enforced by circumstances beyond his control, the highly decorated former sportsman still endured a barrage of acerbic tweets from followers 

Finished: Rio had hoped to enter the ring as part of Betfair’s divisive Defender to Contender challenge

Finished: Rio had hoped to enter the ring as part of Betfair’s divisive Defender to Contender challenge

Is it half time yet? The former footballer took a battering from merciless fans on Thursday morning

Is it half time yet? The former footballer took a battering from merciless fans on Thursday morning

Another added: 'Having to admire Rio Ferdinand's boxing record. Unbeaten just like Floyd Mayweather or Joe Calzaghe.' 

While a third playfully wrote: 'No one will ever take your 0 Rio.' 

Seizing

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