• Heavyweight

Flintoff hoping to channel nerves

ESPN staff
November 29, 2012
Andrew Flintoff will step into the ring on Friday © Getty Images

Andrew Flintoff has admitted he is battling nerves ahead of his professional boxing debut.

Flintoff, a former England cricketer, is preparing to face Richard Dawson in Manchester on Friday evening, as he fulfils a long-held ambition to strap on the gloves and prove himself inside the ring.

The 34-year-old is nervous ahead of his appearance in the four-round bout, but hopes he can channel those nerves into a positive performance - just as he often did during his cricket career.

"I'd be lying if I said there weren't any nerves," Flintoff told Sky Sports News. "But I experienced nerves in my career before, in cricket, and managed to use them to my advantage - so hopefully this will be no different.

"It's a big task I'm taking on, I've worked hard for it - and we'll see what the result is afterwards."

Flintoff has been dogged by accusations that his boxing adventure is anything from an ego trip to a publicity stunt - criticisms the former Lancashire allrounder strenuously denies.

"You can't go into this sport for a bit of fun - it's a serious sport, it's a serious business," Flintoff added. "He's come here to win and so have I."

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