• Heavyweight

McGuigan: Flintoff wants a number of pro fights

ESPN staff
September 6, 2012
Andrew Flintoff retired from cricket in 2009 © Getty Images

Andrew Flintoff's mentor Barry McGuigan has confirmed the former cricketer is serious about his venture into boxing, insisting he wants a number of professional bouts.

It was announced on Thursday that Flintoff, who retired from cricket in 2009, will make his boxing debut with a heavyweight clash on November 30 in Manchester.

And McGuigan, a former world champion, has been shocked by the natural aptitude Flintoff has shown for pugilism. "I was very impressed with his natural skill and determination," McGuigan told Sky Sports.

"I've seen him sparring over a six-week period. He can take a shot, which is crucial, and he can dish it out. He can really bowl over that right hand. He's got tremendous natural rotation.

"Natural ability is having the ability to take a shot and to be able to fight. That is what this challenge is all about. He wants a number of professional fights. Some people will think it's crazy."

Flintoff is yet to apply for a licence to the British Boxing Board of Control, but intends to do so in the near future, adding legitimacy to the venture. "I'm fairly confident he will get a licence," McGuigan said.

"We'll go through the proper channels, the British Boxing Board of Control route. We want him to be in as good a shape as possible when the board take a look at him."

Flintoff has been training with McGuigan's son, Shane, for at least the last month.

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