Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Freddie the Fighter

We all know Freddie Flintoff as a cheeky chappy, pedalo stealing all-rounder who helped change the fortunes of the England cricket side with his fast bowling and hard hitting. In 2005 he was at the peak of his game and the leading cricketer in the game. Since his retirement from cricket in 2010, Flintoff, who played in 79 Test matches and 141 one-day internationals, has decided to pursue another career in boxing.

Freddie the Fighter

Flintoff, who has now dropped “Freddie” and gone back to Andrew, will be coached by former world featherweight champion, Barry McGuigan, and has been granted a 12 month license to box. It is not the one fight that Flintoff is looking at either.

"It's not a one-off," McGuigan said. "He wants to fight a number of times. He has ambition, he wants to fight again."

The fact that Flintoff wants to step in the ring is no surprise to me, and neither is the wanting to fight numerous times. If his body can hold up to the strains of training twice a day and if his mind can hold up to a strict diet, then I think that he can do it.

"I'm having steak for breakfast and lots of chicken and fish, and I've lost 40 pounds just through hard work.” Said the man who preferred beer and pasties…

There are concerns for Flintoff though. People are worried that a man of no professional experience and no amateur background either would get eaten alive in the ring, even if his opponent had lost his first five fights, he would still have had five fights and an amateur career behind him.

Flintoff has quick hands and can no doubt throw a big right, but how can he handle taking a hit? I can only presume that being punched, in the face, by a big heavy bloke, can only bloody hurt!

One of us

I shall be cheering him on anyway, not because he is an ex professional, not because I am a massive fan of A League of Their Own, but because he is one of us, he is a working class man who loves a beer and a laugh. He will step in that ring, give it his all and if he gets sparked out or if he knocks someone out, he will be the same man at the end of it. That to me is a sportsman and what sport is all about.

If he does get put on the canvas then I wonder if under his boots he will have Morrisons and Jacamo?! There is money to be earned there, Fred!

Flintoff is not the only man to change sporting careers and step into the ring…

Adam Hollioake...another to step into the ring

Sonny Bill Williams- Having swapped rugby league for rugby union, the rampaging Kiwi centre became a World Cup winner with the All Blacks in 2011. His first professional boxing match took place in 2009 and he’s now the heavyweight champion of New Zealand.

James Cracknell- The Olympic gold medal-winning British rower fought a charity bout against New Zealand Test cricketer Kerry Walmsley in 2007. He was knocked out after 45 seconds by an opponent who was two stone heavier, and required medical treatment in the ring.

Adam Hollioake - The former captain of England’s one-day cricket team is another cricketer to step  into the ring. In April, he won his debut professional bout as a heavyweight in Brisbane. The 41-year-old now competes in mixed-martial-arts cage-fighting contests.