'Freddie' Flintoff to become a professional boxer

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Updated: Tuesday, October 16, 2012, 15:20 [IST]
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Shocking but true as Andrew Flintoff, the former England all-rounder has decided to launch himself as a professional boxer.

Cricketer Flintoff to turn boxer soon!

Flintoff, who was fond of boxing since his childhood decided to take up the brutal game, after quitting cricket as injuries cut short his cricketing career in 2010, prompting him to announce his retirement from international cricket while he was 31.

"It's an opportunity I couldn't pass up," the Daily Mail quoted him as saying.

"I played my last game of cricket at the age of 31 and I'm only 34 now. I've always loved boxing and I'm going to have a go at it and see where it takes us.

The English cricketer's entry to boxing, is indeed shocking as he has no prior experience in the ring. Moreover the cricketer known for his daring attitude has made up his mind to venture into professional boxing.

"I just really enjoy having a go at things. When you put yourself out there you put yourself up for a bit of criticism, but I'm not bothered. The people who criticise, what are they are doing? Criticising is an easy thing to do," Flintoff quipped.

Flintoff, who is all set to make his professional debut as a boxer on Nov 30, revealed that it was former feather weight champion, Barry McGuigan who inspired him to take up this new career.

It all happened last year, as Flintoff was interviewing the former featherweight champion, on how depression affects sportsmen, the English cricketer punched him when he got to know that he could give it a try.

"Barry put the pads on and I punched them," recalled Flintoff.

"I thought nothing of it, but then a few months later he was having a meeting at my manager's office. I popped my head around the door, joking, and said, ‘Is this about my fight, then?' Barry turned round and asked me whether I was serious, and I said, ‘Why not?' It just escalated from there," he added.

Moreover, the cricketer also felt it was a nice option as he need not wake up early and practice, which made him choose the new career.

"If you don't have to get up and train in the morning it's easy to eat absolute rubbish and have a beer. With the boxing it's been about refocusing. It's been a lifestyle choice as well as just learning to do something new," Flintoff was quoted as saying by Daily Mail.

The 34 year old has been training hard, ahead of his Boxing debut as he admitted that the sessions are gruelling, while he also added that it was a hurting game.

"I'm training nine or ten sessions a week. I'm sparring three times a week and reckon I've probably now sparred 80 rounds," said Flintoff who has represented England in 79 Tests and 141 ODIs and 7 T20Is has claimed a total of 400 wickets during his career spanning 12 years.

Flintoff, also added that his family ahs been very supportive as he has taken up this profession after quitting cricket in 2010.

"She's supportive. I think she's just seeing me getting focused on something again. I'll be honest: I wouldn't be able to do it if she wasn't supportive of it," he insisted.

"I think some of the times I've come in from sparring and I've got fat lips and blood coming out of my nose she's been a bit shocked, but she's backing me to the hilt," he said.

Hope the new career brings him the much needed success and happiness, as Flintoff, who retired from cricket in 2010, has decided to take up a career in professional boxing.


Story first published:  Tuesday, October 16, 2012, 13:01 [IST]
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