Former England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff will make his professional debut at the MEN Arena on November 30.
Flintoff, 34, retired from all cricket in 2010 after failing to recover from a long-standing knee injury, however is being mentored by former featherweight world champion Barry McGuigan and is confident that his body will hold up as he prepares for his heavyweight bow.
“This is an amazing opportunity to try a sport that I love, to be tutoured by a man I respect and admire and, at the age of 34, the chance to be a professional sportsman again,” Flintoff said.
It is understood that the former Lancashire and England star, who is being trained by McGuigan’s son Shane, will apply for a full licence from the British Boxing Board of Control, although no such application has yet been completed.
The fight, against an as yet unnamed opponent, raises the tantalising possibility of falling on the same night as a mooted comeback for Ricky Hatton- another one of Lancashire’s favourite sons.
Although the notion of fighters turning professional without an amateur background is unusual, it is not unheard of- former British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion Matt Skelton was a similar age when he turned pro back in 2002.
Former England team mate Adam Hollioake launched a similar venture earlier this year as the Australia based 40-year-old won his only pro fight to date with a fourth round over Leigh Blacka in Queensland in April.
Flintoff last played for England in 2009 as he helped Andrew Strauss’ men regain the Ashes.
Since hanging up his boots he has engaged in a number of television projects- regularly appearing on Sky’s “A League of their Own” and it is understood that the network will screen a two part documentary on Flintoff’s preparations in the build up to the fight.
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