Zeenews Sports Bureau
Manchester: Former England cricketer Andrew Flintoff is set to make his professional boxing debut today against American Richard Dawson at Manchester Arena.
The former allrounder, who rose to glory with his heroics in the 2005 Ashes series, surprised everyone after announcing to embark on a new career in boxing ring earlier this year.
The 34-year-old has been training for the past four months for this bout.
He has lost three-and-a-half stone for the fight and now weighs 216lb which is considerably lighter than his opponent who weighs 241lb.
A series of injuries blighted the last five years of his cricket career and he was forced to retire from professional cricket in 2010, admitting his body had beaten him.
Later he embarked on a successful television career, appearing as a team captain on the James Corden-hosted sports quiz ‘A League of Their Own’ and travelling to the remotest regions on Earth for the Discovery Channel. He’s also raised millions of pounds for charity.
Instead of settling into a comfortable lifestyle of golf, time with his young family and the occasional televised adventure abroad, he decided to take up a sport that those in the business describe starkly as a ‘hurting game’.
"I wanted to get back into professional sport at a time when I needed something. I was drifting," Flintoff was quoted as saying by BBC.
“I played my last game of cricket at the age of 31 and I’m only 34 now. I’ve always loved boxing and I’m going to have a go at it and see where it takes us,” he said in an interview.
`The last four-and-a-half-months have been the hard work and I want to go out and enjoy it,” he said.