Ex-cricketer Flintoff wins on boxing debut but coy about fight future
December 1, 2012 -- Updated 1630 GMT (0030 HKT)
Andrew "Freddie" Flintoff made a winning start to his professional boxing career against American Richard Dawson.
- Former England all-rounder makes winning debut in the boxing ring against American Richard Dawson
- Flintoff recovers from being knocked down in the second round to win on points in four-round bout
- The 34-year-old's entry into boxing has been controversial, one promoter calling it "dangerous nonsense"
- Former teammate Steve Harmison tweets: "Great win @flintoff11!!! But please don't do it again mate!!!"
(CNN) -- More used to walloping cricket balls than opponents, Andrew Flintoff successfully swapped batting gloves for boxing gloves on Friday night beating American opponent, Richard Dawson in their heavyweight fight at the Manchester Arena, England.
Despite being knocked to the floor in the second round, the former England cricketer recovered to win on points (39 to 38) in the four-round bout witnessed by a 5,000-strong crowd which included former teammates Steve Harmison and Rob Key.
"As a personal achievement, this tops the lot," Flintoff said.
"The crowd made a massive difference tonight. I'll appreciate I was sloppy at times, but it was a humbling moment."
Flintoff, who entered the ring wearing the shirt of his county cricket club Lancashire, had the better of the exchanges in the opening round, but was knocked to the canvas by the 23-year-old Dawson during the second.
The 34-year-old was quick to recover though and made the referee's count comfortably before going on to dominate the final two rounds and secure the points victory.
Flintoff announced his intentions to start boxing professionally in September and trained with former Irish world featherweight champion Barry McGuigan and his son Shane in preparation for his first fight. But his decision has caused controversy.
British boxing promoter Frank Warren, whose BoxNation channel showed the fight, said in September that it would be "car-crash television," while Frank Maloney, who managed former world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis, described the bout as "dangerous nonsense."
Despite a successful start, Flintoff remains uncertain about his future in the sport saying he will delay a decision until the new year.
"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."
Flintoff maybe unsure what course to take, but many may agree with the comments of his friend and fellow paceman Steve Harmison.
"Great win @flintoff11!!!" Harmison tweeted, "But please don't do it again mate!!!"
Flintoff played 79 Tests and 141 One-Day Internationals for England in an international career spanning 11 years and was a key member of England's Ashes-winning teams against Australia in 2005 and 2009. He retired from all forms of cricket in 2010.
Part of complete coverage on
April 9, 2013 -- Updated 1628 GMT (0028 HKT)
A six-day run that covers more than 220 km through the scorching heat of the Sahara desert has been billed as the "World's toughest race."
April 10, 2013 -- Updated 1149 GMT (1949 HKT)
He plays the only sport approved by the Taliban, a game he learned as a war refugee in Pakistan.
April 4, 2013 -- Updated 1746 GMT (0146 HKT)
How do you like your sport? Blood, sweat, tears and a nailbiting finish, no doubt. But what about death?
April 5, 2013 -- Updated 0934 GMT (1734 HKT)
Disgraced doper Lance Armstrong's quest to take part in a swimming event in Texas appears to have been sunk before he's even hit the water.
December 18, 2012 -- Updated 1121 GMT (1921 HKT)
New research suggests the use of ice baths to aid recovery after intense exercise is not as beneficial as previously thought.
December 19, 2012 -- Updated 1248 GMT (2048 HKT)
It's not easy carrying the burden of a sports-mad nation's lofty expectations of world-beating dominance on your shoulders.
December 6, 2012 -- Updated 1645 GMT (0045 HKT)
Forty days alone in the wilderness was enough for Jesus, but Lance Armstrong is facing an altogether longer period of solitude.
November 28, 2012 -- Updated 2142 GMT (0542 HKT)
The flip side to this health time bomb is the paradox that more and more amateur athletes are taking on extreme endurance challenges.
November 28, 2012 -- Updated 1937 GMT (0337 HKT)
All Black fly-half Dan Carter talks to CNN's Sophia Heath as New Zealand prepares to take on England at Twickenham.
November 29, 2012 -- Updated 1833 GMT (0233 HKT)
New Zealand's Dan Carter reveals the five fly-halfs that inspired him.
November 24, 2012 -- Updated 1636 GMT (0036 HKT)
Boxing legend Hector "Macho" Camacho has died. CNN's Nick Valencia looks back on his life.
July 31, 2012 -- Updated 1852 GMT (0252 HKT)
You may not be headed to the Olympics, but that doesn't mean you can't join in the fun! Welcome to the CNN iReport sports photo master class.
July 25, 2012 -- Updated 1203 GMT (2003 HKT)
Look over the edge as cliff divers compete in the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2012 in Portugal.
July 19, 2012 -- Updated 2229 GMT (0629 HKT)
The Houston Rockets sign basketball sensation Jeremy Lin after the New York Knicks fail to match their NBA rivals' three-year, $25 million offer.
May 31, 2012 -- Updated 1117 GMT (1917 HKT)
Reza Beluchi has been running all his life, running for freedom, running for peace. He ran away from his homeland, Iran, and has traveled the world.
Today's five most popular stories