Other Sport

Flintoff's back - as a boxer

2012-09-06 15:50
Andrew Flintoff (File)

London - Andrew Flintoff made his name by smashing sixes and taking wickets during a memorable career as English cricket's premier all-rounder and he will get the chance to deliver some more knock-out blows after revealing his plan to become a professional boxer.

Flintoff, who was forced to quit cricket due to a series of injuries, is set to fight in a heavyweight bout at Manchester's MEN Arena on November 30 and is being trained by former world featherweight champion Barry McGuigan and McGuigan's son Shane in preparation for the bout.

The 34-year-old's experiences as a budding fighter are being turned into a two-part television documentary called The Gloves Are Off and he can't wait to step into the ring after missing the buzz of professional sport since his retirement from cricket in 2010.

"This is an amazing opportunity to try a sport that I love, to be tutored by a man I respect and admire and, at the age of 34, the chance to become a professional sportsman again," Flintoff said.

"It's a huge challenge - probably the biggest I have ever undertaken, especially in such a short time-frame.

"I have a long road ahead and a lot of work in front of me. The stakes are high."

Flintoff still needs to be granted a licence by the British Boxing Board of Control before he can fight and Robert Smith, the organisation's general secretary, said the former Lancashire star had not yet gone through the application process.

However, the licence application process normally lasts anything up to six weeks, giving Flintoff enough time to apply in the near future and fight on the November date.

Flintoff, who became a global cricket icon after helping England beat Australia to win the Ashes in 2005, would not be the first professional sportsman to undertake a boxing career with no experience.

Former Sheffield United footballer Curtis Woodhouse made his boxing debut in 2002 and has won 16 of his 20 contests.

Smith added: "It is quite unusual. We haven't had many people apply with no experience at all, but there is a history of footballers and rugby league players taking up boxing, and Curtis Woodhouse has done so very well."

Flintoff played in 79 Tests and 141 one-day internationals for England and is widely regarded as one of his country's best ever all-rounders.

Read more on:    andrew flintoff  |  cricket  |  boxing

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