Former Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand has announced his intentions to box professionally.

The 38-year-old Ferdinand, who appeared 312 times for the Red Devils from 2002 to 2014, made the announcement early on Tuesday in conjunction with betting house, Betfair.

"I'm doing this because it's a challenge," Ferdinand said in a release. "I've won titles and now I'm aiming for a belt."

Ferdinand has posted several training videos on social media in recent months.

He will now have to obtain a license from the British Boxing Board of Control. At this point, the general secretary of the committee says he has yet to hear anything from Ferdinand's camp.

"I was completely surprised," the BBBC's Robert Smith said. "We don't have an application, so there's nothing to consider. Nor have we had any conversation with anybody regarding this."

Capped 81 times by England, Ferdinand retired from football after the 2015 season spent with Queens Park Rangers. With United, Ferdinand captured 14 trophies including six English Premier League crowns and the 2008 Champions League title.