Cricket star Flintoff set for boxing showdown

Andrew Flintoff faces off against Richard Dawson. Picture: Getty
Andrew Flintoff faces off against Richard Dawson. Picture: Getty
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Andrew Flintoff is determined to block out his critics as he prepares for his boxing debut.

The former England Test captain has swapped the cricket oval for the ring and is to take on American Richard Dawson at the MEN Arena this evening.

Flintoff, 34, who played 79 Tests and 141 limited-overs matches for his country, said yesterday: “I’d be lying if I said there weren’t a few nerves, but I’ve been nervous before 
playing cricket and used it to my advantage.

“It’s dragged on a little bit now, I’m glad it’s finally come round and in Manchester tomorrow night hopefully all that hard work will pay off.

“There will be critics and doubters out there and it’s a big task I’ve taken on, I’m just concentrating on the fight and we’ll see what the reaction is.

“It depends if you take it on board – as a cricketer I didn’t read too much of the press, I just wanted to be comfortable in what I’m doing.”

Dawson has won his first two fights and Flintoff said: “He’s fought before, he’s unbeaten, he’s flown over from America and he’s made good progress in his career so far.”“