London, Dec 2: Former England cricket captain Andrew Flintoff came off the canvas to mark his professional boxing debut with a points win over American heavyweight Richard Dawson on Friday.
The 34-year-old was floored in the second round of a lively affair but after dominating the other three rounds had his hand rightly raised in victory on a score of 39-38 on the referee's scorecard.
It was a deserved win for the former England and Lancashire fast-bowling all-rounder who dropped three-and-a-half stone to weigh in at 15st 6lb for his first foray into boxing after a five-month training camp with former world featherweight champion Barry McGuigan.
Flintoff, who was perceived as overweight during his days playing cricket, certainly took the training seriously for this as he looked in much better shape than his American opponent in the four-round clash.
The unbeaten Dawson did not have much more experience in the ring himself with just two previous outings against opponents without wins, and he gave away five inches to the taller Flintoff while carrying in almost an extra two stone in weight.