Former England cricketer Andrew Flintoff began his boxing career with a narrow victory over Richard Dawson after being knocked down by the American initially. (All AFP Photos and text)
The former England cricket captain beat Dawson 39-38 on points after a lively affair in front of 5,000 raucous fans at the Manchester Arena, but only after being knocked down in the second round of the four-round contest.
Rachel Flintoff, wife of Former England cricketer turned professional boxer Andrew Flintoff, applauds as he fights US boxer Richard Dawson in their heavyweight boxing bout at the Manchester Arena in Manchester.
"I want some time off, have a nice Christmas. After Christmas I will start to decide what to do. It is quite fresh, still quite raw what happened," said Flintoff after the bout.
Flintoff had been accused in some boxing quarters of demeaning the sport by thinking he could just casually walk into the professional ranks. But that did not stop former England team-mates, Matthew Hoggard and Steve Harmison, being at ringside to see the man who was twice an Ashes winner during his cricket career.
It was, by Flintoff's admission, a sluggish affair but he started the fight well, pawing out jabs while Dawson looked disinterested from the off. But in the second round, the American caught him off balance with an accurate, but hardly powerful, left that put the Englishman on the canvas. He beat the count and recovered, before regaining his composure and dominating the final two rounds to deservedly take the contest.
"It was probably everything and more," said Flintoff.
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