Andrew Flintoff will make his foray into the world of pro-boxing on Friday evening (November 30, 2012) at the Manchester Evening News Arena. Yes, that Andrew Flintoff, of English test cricket and Morrison's advert fame. Freddie Flintoff.
His move into boxing has elicited sighs from the sport's top promoter's Frank Warren and Frank Maloney, though Warren's own BoxNation will broadcast the fight anyway. He fights the American Richard Dawson from Okmulgee, Oklahoma, who boasts a record of two fights, two wins, with one knock-out. The bookmakers have the stateside fighter as the favourite, though it looks pretty even on paper, which - when considering Flintoff is a former cricketer - probably tells you how good Dawson really is. At the press conference and weight in at the Manchester Hilton on Thursday, Flintoff got on the scales at 216lbs, meaning he has lost three-and-a-half stone for the bout. The shorter and stockier Dawson - who was handpicked as an opponent by Flintoff's mentor Barry McGuigan - tipped the scales at 241lbs.
Freddie believes his gruelling training regime will give him the advantage in front of his home crowd, telling the press, "I've been working with Shane (McGuigan's son) and Barry and they've got me in unbelievable shape. It's a different type of training to when I was playing cricket. I've done the rounds in sparring and I'm looking forward to tomorrow night." Flintoff is yet to be knocked down despite 300 rounds of intense sparring, though insists he is not thinking ahead to a full boxing career should he beat Dawson. "First and foremost my focus is on tomorrow night and after that we'll decide where it's going. It would be dangerous to look past tomorrow night. Richard has come over and my attention is on that. It was the same with cricket in the last part of my career, I didn't look too far ahead."
You can watch Freddie Flintoff's fight against Richard Dawson by subscribing to Box Nation, Sky channel 437.