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 15, 2014 -- Updated 1354 GMT (2154 HKT)
From the pool to the racetrack, the boxing ring and the ice rink -- experience the sporting week in pictures.
April 4, 2014 -- Updated 1308 GMT (2108 HKT)
The 2002 bomb attacks in Bali had many victims -- including a touring rugby team from Hong Kong.
Photographer Danny Lyon spent three days with Muhammad Ali in 1972 and shares his best photos and memories of the champ.
February 25, 2014 -- Updated 1254 GMT (2054 HKT)
With a growing audience boosted by the drama of ice hockey on show in Sochi at the Winter Olympics, can the sport capitalize on its popularity?
January 20, 2014 -- Updated 1125 GMT (1925 HKT)
Her paintings may sell for thousands of dollars, but she is best known for a modeling shot 50 years ago that helped launch a business empire.
January 9, 2014 -- Updated 1701 GMT (0101 HKT)
When the eye of the storm closes in most people head home -- but for these surfers it's a different story.
January 6, 2014 -- Updated 1445 GMT (2245 HKT)
Gareth Evans is a school teacher in South Africa. In 1983, he attended a "rebel tour" cricket match against the West Indies.
December 17, 2013 -- Updated 1507 GMT (2307 HKT)
In the wake of protests in his native Ukraine, heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko has turned his back on boxing to focus on his political ambitions.
August 9, 2013 -- Updated 0920 GMT (1720 HKT)
The Olympics must use its global reach and immense popularity to help save a generation, says sporting icon Sergei Bubka.
August 7, 2013 -- Updated 1632 GMT (0032 HKT)
CNN's Fred Pleitgen exposes a history of German government-funded doping throughout the Cold War.
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?
Today's five most popular stories