UK & World News
Freddie Flintoff Wins First Heavyweight Fight
Andrew Flintoff has won his first heavyweight boxing match against Richard Dawson at the Manchester Arena.
Flintoff beat Dawson on points by 39-38 at the end of four two-minute rounds in front of a roaring crowd in his native North West.
The former England and Lancashire cricket star was afforded a hero's welcome by the 5,000-strong crowd.
But after taking the first round he was sent tumbling to the canvas by a punch from his American opponent early in the second.
Flintoff - who lost 20kg while training with former world champion Barry McGuigan - came back into the match as the heavier Dawson showed signs of tiredness.
And the Ashes winner showed impressive composure to take a narrow points win according to referee Phil Edwards' scorecard.
The win was the perfect response to critics including promoter Frank Maloney, who said the fight would "shame the fight game".
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 told 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 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.
"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."
Flintoff's progress was charted in a Sky television documentary, where his commitment and dedication to achieving prime physical condition were clearly evident.
But doubts were raised by seasoned observers about the former all-rounder's technical boxing skills.
More than three years on from his last outing as a professional sportsman - helping England regain the Ashes from Australia at The Oval in 2009 while battling a knee injury that would ultimately curtail his career - Flintoff entered the ring wearing his old Lancashire Lightning one-day top.
The crowd favourite had tipped the scales at a trim 15st 6oz - giving Dawson a near two-stone weight advantage.
what do you think?
Well done Freddy its a great Documentry cant wait to see the fight
Farce. Knocked down and wins on points. Yeah okay
Looks like only me and you can actually see what is actually happening , here.
Well done mate
Well done big freddie, takes a lot of balls to go into the ring and fight and to those who said he shouldnt do it... Go in and have a go yourself. He has as much right to fight as anyone and if you put the work in you deserve a shot. Congrats fred!!
It was all for a tv program. Some people are easily conned. It's not like he's taking the sport up as a new career.Give us a break.
So vlad would you step in the ring to potentially get pounded just for a tv show? And are you not conned by these people who are saying its just a tv publicity stunt. The training was a documentary yes but the actual bout was an officially sanctioned boxing fight, hence making all the stats official.
Well done Freddie!
Hmmm. And is there a point to this farce, or what ? Hardly proved anything here, has he. Four, two minute rounds !!.... christ, i used to do more than that in the school playground, like any other schoolkid.And the outcome wasn't exactly a surprise. This is just a set up for tv.
top man freddie,the haymaker next lol
all these negative comments wots is the problem sounds like sour grapes to me
More likely that some of us aren't easily conned.
TWO BIG GIRLS FIGHTING IN A PAPER BAG. RUBBISH.