UK & World News
Ex-England Cricketer Swaps Nets For Cage
Former England cricketer Adam Hollioake has swapped the serene surroundings of the cricket pitch for the boxing ring.
Not only that, he is also now a professional cage fighter.
Hollioake, 40, retired from professional cricket in 2004 but has now begun a new career as a boxer and taking part in mixed martial arts, or cage fighting.
Hollioake told Sky News: "People who know me were really surprised when I went into cricket because I led such a physical life playing rugby and boxing when I was growing up.
"I think those people say 'Wow, it's taken you a long time to do that,' but for people who don't know me, it must seem the strangest thing in the world."
The former captain of the one day side now lives with his family in Queensland, back in Australia where he was born.
He says he started boxing to lose weight, but then began to think he might be able to compete.
He won his first professional boxing match in the fourth round. His first cage fight, against a much younger, leaner opponent, ended in a draw.
After losing his brother Ben in a car crash, and retiring from cricket, Hollioake made, and then lost, a lot of money in property. His company eventually went bankrupt.
But cash is not why he has exchanged the nets for the cage.
"I'm not doing this to put food on my table, if I am I'd better start training a bit harder," the former all-rounder said.
"Yes I'm getting paid to do it, not a huge amount of money but I'm a professional so I train in the morning and I train at night exactly as I did when I played cricket."
Hollioake's promoter is planning another fight for him in September, and then more opportunities in the ring and cage next year.
His wife Sherryn Hollioake however is nervous about his new career. She said on the day of his cage fight she was "in pieces".
"The cage fighting looks brutal to me, so scary for a wife," she said.
"I can't tell him what to do even though he says the decision lies with me. How can I say no when he loves it?"
Hollioake began boxing aged 12.
Now, after a celebrated career as a cricketer, he said he has returned to his first love and is finally chasing his dream.
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I was trying to paste a biography of Jonny Douglas who won an Olympic Boxing Medal in 1908 and went on to Captain the English Test Team. In a match for Essex v Derbyshire he saved a batting collapse scoring 210 and took 11 wickets for less than 50 runs. He drowned in the Baltic in a shipping accident, witnesses claim he was trying to save his father (whose business had allowed him to stay an amateur Olympian)