Andrew Flintoff beat Richard Dawson on points in his first professional boxing fight
Former cricketing great Andrew Flintoff made a successful boxing debut at the MEN Arena in Manchester.
Last Updated: 01/12/12 10:24am
Flintoff was floored by a left hook in the second but had much the better of the rest of the bout and was rewarded for his aggressive display with a 39-38 points success.
The 34-year-old Flintoff was roared on by a raucous home crowd, as he attempted to make a winning start to the second chapter of his sporting career.
Having been given intensive coaching by former world champion Barry McGuigan and his son Shane, Flintoff made a fast start against the 23-year-old Dawson, who had won his only two previous fights as a pro.
The heavyweight bout was contested over four two-minute rounds and Flintoff was on top in round one, missing with several blows but landing with plenty of others and backing Dawson into a corner at one point.
However, the former England all-rounder betrayed his inexperience at the start of round two, rushing in over-eagerly and being sent to the ground by a left hook.
Flintoff was given a standing eight count but shook off the blow and calmed down after that, taking a slightly more measured approach to the remainder of the bout while Dawson looked somewhat tentative throughout.
Having been on the floor, Flintoff needed to win the last two rounds to prevail and did exactly that, backing Dawson onto the ropes in the third as he bossed proceedings.
The final round began quietly but soon livened up and again it was Flintoff who did more of the pressing, possibly clinching victory with a frenzied late attack.
He raised his arm confidently at the end of the bout and referee Phil Edwards then announced the 39-38 verdict, to the delight of the 5,000 fans who had vociferously cheered on their hero throughout.