Andrew Flintoff goes down after a left hook by Richard
Dawson. Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
Former England cricketer Andrew Flintoff beat American
Richard Dawson on points after surviving a knockdown in his
first professional fight at the MEN Arena in Manchester.
The 34-year-old got a rousing reception from the 5,000 fans
and won the first of four two-minute rounds before being
caught by a left hook early in the second that sent him to
However, Flintoff got up to receive a standing eight count
and battled back with a more composed performance against a
flagging opponent for a 39-38 win on the referee's scorecard.
"You talk about the Ashes and things but as a personal
achievement, this is the best," Flintoff, part of England's
Ashes-winning teams in 2005 and 2009, told BoxNation.
Despite his successful start the former all-rounder was
cautious about his future in the sport, saying "we'll see how
we go. It's not natural to me, I've had to work so hard.
"The feeling of being in there and winning at the end, I
can't believe it but I'm not pretending to be something I'm
not," he added.
Flintoff, coached by former world champion Barry McGuigan,
had weighed in at 216lbs (97.98kg), 25lbs (11.34kg) lighter
than Dawson, 23, who had won his previous two professional
Flintoff, who played 79 tests before retiring from cricket in
September 2010 through injury, became a national treasure by
leading England to their famous Ashes victory in 2005 - their
first test series win over Australia in almost two decades.