/ Boxing

Andrew Flintoff set to reinvent himself as a fighter

Updated: Thursday, 06 Sep 2012 16:04 | Comments

Andrew Flintoff has been schooled in the sweet science by Barry McGuigan
Andrew Flintoff has been schooled in the sweet science by Barry McGuigan

Former England cricketer Andrew Flintoff has announced his intention to become a professional boxer and make his debut in Manchester in November.

The 34-year-old Flintoff is planning to fight in a heavyweight bout at the city's MEN Arena on 30 November, although he must first be granted a licence by the British Boxing Board of Control.

Flintoff is being trained by former world featherweight champion Barry McGuigan and McGuigan's son Shane, and his preparations are set to be turned into a two-part television documentary.

Flintoff said: "This is an amazing opportunity to try a sport that I love, to be tutored by a man I respect and admire and, at the age of 34, the chance to become a professional sportsman again.

"It's a huge challenge - probably the biggest I have ever undertaken, especially in such a short time-frame.

"I have a long road ahead and a lot of work in front of me. The stakes are high."

Robert Smith, the general secretary of the British Boxing Board of Control, said Flintoff had not yet applied for a licence, and the Board had not received an application for the show in question.

However, the licence application process normally lasts anything up to six weeks, giving Flintoff enough time to apply in the near future and fight - if his application is successful - on the November date.

Smith said: "Andrew Flintoff has not applied, nor has he been interviewed by anyone from the British Boxing Board of Control.

"An application can take three to four weeks or longer depending on the circumstances. He will have to pass medicals and there are measures in place to see whether an applicant can actually box."

Flintoff would not be the first professional sportsman to undertake a boxing career with no experience.

Former Sheffield United footballer Curtis Woodhouse made his boxing debut in 2002 and has won 16 of his 20 contests.

Smith added: "It is quite unusual. We haven't had many people apply with no experience at all, but there is a history of footballers and rugby league players taking up boxing, and Curtis Woodhouse has done so very well."

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