Advertisement
Advertisement

Flintoff, McGuigan Respond To Critics on Pro Fight

Andrew Flintoff denies his reinvention as a boxer demeans the sport with trainer Barry McGuigan claiming any criticism is motivated by jealousy.

Flintoff will make his professional debut in Manchester on November 30 in a four-round fight against novice American Richard Dawson, who has won both of his bouts.

Strong opposition from within boxing has greeted the former England cricket captain's decision to swap bat for gloves.

Frank Warren and rising British heavyweight Danny Price described it as "car crash TV", while Frank Maloney branded it a "scandal".

Maloney also called for British Boxing Board of Control chairman Charles Giles to be sacked for approving the 34-year-old's license.

But Flintoff, who lost 45lbs in weight during a gruelling four-month training camp filmed for a three-part series to be screened on Sky1HD, insists his motives are honourable.

"You couldn't go through this for a TV stunt," he said.

"If I was looking for a publicity stunt I'd have picked something easier. There's other things I could have done.

"There's been criticism of things I've done in the past. I'm just getting my head down and doing the best I can.

"I appreciate that people want to protect the sport they're involved in. I'd be the same with cricket.

"I'm hoping this is something where boxing is celebrated because it's not my intention to cheapen the sport or show it up.

"We want to show the sport in the best possible light because ultimately I'm a boxing fan as well."

McGuigan mounted a robust defence of the project at the preview screening of 'The Gloves Are Off', the first episode of which will be aired on November 22 at 9pm.

Former WBA featherweight champion McGuigan, 51, oversaw Flintoff's training with his son Shane acting as the technical and strength and conditioning coach

"What we're doing is the opposite to cheapening the sport, it's promoting it. You see the pain and anguish Freddie goes though," McGuigan said.

"How can that be negative in promoting the sport? To say it cheapens boxing is a complete and utter load of nonsense.

"It's a case of the green-eyed monster I'm afraid. Freddie's worked his nuts off and we're promoting the sport in a very positive way.

"We could have done white collar or amateur boxing, but that's not real. This is real."

In the sparring sessions seen in episode one Flintoff, who has no amateur background, is strong but limited and is generally treated sympathetically by opponents.

McGuigan accepted there are rough edges but praises the 2005 Ashes winner's attitude.

"Let's be honest, Freddie is a novice. There's been a monumental change physically," he said.

"Technically he has a lot to work on, but we'll keep at that. He's a great pupil. He's not a natural but he works very hard. He gets there because he's so determined."

Flintoff faced some of cricket's biggest names during a career that numbered 79 Test appearances and 141 one-day internationals, but admitted boxing is the toughest challenge he has faced.

"In cricket the mental aspect was tough but this has taken that to a whole new level," Flintoff said.

"You're up and down all the time, you get nervous before a sparring session, you're on a high when you're in there and then an hour later you're flat.

"The diet's had its' moments....eating steak at 530am isn't the easiest. Giving up booze has been all right though. It's been a lifestyle chance.

"One of the things I had to overcome is that I'm not the most confrontational bloke.

"When I played cricket every now and then I would be, but it didn't bring out the best in me.

"There has to be a ruthless streak in the ring, so there's been a change mentally to achieve that."

Tags:
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Post a Comment/View More User Comments (0)
Top Headlines Kovalev's Coach: If Ward Can't Hurt Sergey, He's in Trouble! Jamel Herring Looking To Step Things Up in 2016 Luis Ortiz Stays Patient, Waiting For Opponent To Get Finalized Sulaiman Warns Canelo That He Can't Make Mistakes With Khan Ocampo Blasts Out Navarro In Five; Cayetano Wins Alberto Machado, Abner Cotto KO Winners In Puerto Rico Kelly Pavlik Charged, Facing 180 Days in Air Rifle Shooting Photos: Deontay Wilder, Shaquille O'Neal Go Face To Face Jhonny Gonzalez Says Abner Mares Ran From Rematch Golovkin's Coach Doubts Canelo Fight Will Happen in 2016 Nonito Donaire To Hold Camp in Las Vegas For Bedak Clash Floyd Mayweather Jr. Wins 'Fighter of The Year' With BWAA Krzysztof Glowacki Feeling The Pressure of Usyk Mandatory Matthysse-Herrera in Talks For Canelo vs. Khan Undercard Mayweather: I'm No Longer Pound For Pound, But I am TBE Yuniesky Gonzalez Set To Begin Training With Pedro Diaz Promoter Talks of Dublin Shooting Chaos at Regency Hotel Roach Roach, Teddy Atlas Discuss The Proper Time To Stop a Fight Evander Holyfield Backs Tyson Fury: He Has Helped Boxing Frampton Acknowledges It's Been Worth The Wait For Quigg Julian Williams Talks IBF Eliminator, Charlo, Canelo-Khan Broner-Theophane Tops Season Two Premiere of PBC on Spike TV Frank Warren: Rigondeaux, Tete Bring Class To Liverpool Card David Haye Says He Is Not Encouraging Bruno To Make Return Derry Mathews Motivated To Blast Terry Flanagan Out Cold Mayweather Confident Theophane Will Beat Adrien Broner Roach: I Think Kovalev Will Be Too Big, Strong For Andre Ward Deontay Wilder: I Want Alexander Povetkin as Soon as Possible Juergen Braehmer-Eduard Gutknecht Rematch on March 12th Video: Floyd Mayweather Jr. on Retirement, Not Being Tempted Randy Caballero, Frankie Gomez, Mosley Jr. Get Wins in Indio WBC To Name New Mandatory For Danny Garcia, With Khan Out Tomasz Adamek-Eric Molina on April 2nd in Krakow Dmitry Mikhaylenko Return Eyed For 4/29 in Sochi Canelo's Manager Rejects Talk of Khan Being 'Easy Fight' Top Rank Motivated To Continue Staging Events in China Daud Yordan Gets Technical Nod Over Yoshitaka Kato Amir Khan: When I Beat Canelo, Everyone is Going To Say 'Wow!' Thompson: They Can't Find a Bum For Luis Ortiz, I'd Expose Him! Julian Williams-Marcello Matano IBF Eliminator For Charlo Shot
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement