More than two years since his retirement from cricket, Freddie Flintoff has, quite literally, turned his hand to professional boxing.
He has undertaken four months of training with the former featherweight champion Barry McGuigan in preparation for his debut fight which is fast approaching.
Flintoff will take on the, so far unbeaten American boxer, Richard Dawson. His debut fight will take place at Manchester Arena, where some of the most prolific international boxers, including David Haye, Mike Tyson and Ricky Hatton, have fought before him.
Flintoff’s unexpected career change has been met with scepticism. Frank Maloney, the promoter of David Price, the world-title contender, has described Flintoff’s new boxing career as a ‘stunt which should never be allowed to happen’. Maloney went on to criticise the British Boxing Board of Control, claiming, ‘It is a disgrace they have given Flintoff a licence. It gives our sport a bad name’.
However, Flintoff has hit back at critics, saying, ‘you couldn’t go through this for a TV stunt’, adding, ‘if I was looking for a publicity stunt I’d have picked something easier.’
The ex-cricketer has lost 45 lbs during training sessions which have been filmed for a three-part TV series for Sky 1, perhaps proof that this is no stunt. The show will be aired later this month.
Copyright Speakers Corner 2016