Andrew Flintoff has won his professional boxing debut after beating American Richard Dawson on points in a heavyweight bout at the Manchester Arena.
Andrew Flintoff climbed off the canvas to record a points win on his heavyweight boxing debut against Richard Dawson.
The former England and Lancashire cricket star was afforded a hero’s welcome at the Manchester Arena but, after taking the first of four two minute rounds, he was sent tumbling to the canvas by a counter left from his American foe early in the second.
However, Dawson’s inferior conditioning prevented him from mounting a sustained assault and Flintoff showed impressive composure to take the contest 39-38 on referee Phil Edwards’ scorecard - something of an anomaly given the round two should have been award to Dawson 10-8 by virtue of the knockdown.
Flintoff was thrilled to have made a winning return to the limelight.
“You mention the Ashes at international level, but as a personal achievement I think this is the best,” he said on Box Nation. “It’s something that isn’t natural to me. I’ve had to work hard.”
The 34-year-old, who has been training for four and a half months with former world featherweight champion Barry McGuigan and his son Shane, added: “The feeling of being back in front of a crowd and winning at the end - I can’t describe it. It’s down to these guys (Barry and Shane McGuigan).
“I wanted to experience it. The people around Manchester, and the county, supported me so well playing cricket. It was a no-brainer to have it up here.
“The crowd made a massive difference. It’s been amazing - humbling, really.