Former cricketer Andrew Flintoff beats American boxer in the ring

Andrew Flintoff is not just a retired cricketer, he is also a boxer now and a good one at that.

Flintoff proved himself in the boxing ring against his opponent, the American boxer Richard Dawson, by beating him after overcoming a viscous second round knockdown.

The former Lancashire all-rounder walked to the ring wearing his country cricket top to the sound of Oasis’ Roll With It and the crowd of around 6,000.

The 34-year-old, who had previously led England to an Ashes series triumph against Australia with a bat and ball in his hand, won by a single point on the referee’s scorecard at the Manchester Arena.

Flintoff took the fight to Dawson from the first bell and recovered well from hitting the canvas for the first time since he started training four-and-half months ago.

Flintoff had been training under the tutelage of Barry McGuigan and his son Shane and had shed over three stone over four-and-a-half months before weighing in 25lbs lighter than Dawson.

His decision to take up the sport at a professional level had been widely criticised, particularly by British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion David Price who stopped Matt Skelton earlier in the evening in Liverpool.

The British Boxing Board of Control granted him a licence at the second time of asking and general secretary Robert Smith was in attendance, all too aware no doubt at the ramifications if the home favourite was badly beaten up.