Andrew Flintoff climbed off the canvas to record a points win on his heavyweight boxing debut against Richard Dawson. The former England and Lancashire cricket star was afforded a hero's welcome at the Manchester Arena but, after taking the first of four two minute rounds, he was sent tumbling to the canvas by a counter left from his American foe early in the second.
However, Dawson's inferior conditioning prevented him from mounting a sustained assault and Flintoff showed impressive composure to take the contest 39-38 on referee Phil Edwards' scorecard - something of an anomaly given the round two should have been award to Dawson 10-8 by virtue of the knockdown.
WBA featherweight champion Barry McGuigan and his son, highly-regarded trainer Shane, was undertaken by Flintoff to whip himself into fighting shape. The 34-year-old's progress was charted in a Sky television documentary where, although his commitment and dedication to achieving prime physical condition was clearly evident, doubts were sown among a number of seasoned observers regarding the former all-rounder's technical boxing skills.