With his boxing debut a matter of weeks away, cricket legend Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff was back training at Monkstown Amateur Boxing Club today and the Newtownabbey Times had a ringside seat.
Flintoff, under the watchful eye of boxing great Barry McGuigan and his son Shane, is aiming take part in a professional boxing fight to be screened on Sky. The former England all-rounder will go toe-to-toe with a pro opponent in Manchester in front of thousands of fans at the end of the month.
And this morning the Ashes hero, looking fit and lean, sparred with Commonwealth Games silver medal-winning heavyweight Steven Ward. Watching on was Belfast fighter, Carl ‘The Jackal’ Frampton.
In an interview with the Times, Flintoff said: “We thought it would be good to get away and Barry reckoned the best place to come would be here, to Monkstown. We were here a few weeks ago to train and I met the club coach, Paul (Johnston), and sparred with big Steve and that week was invaluable; I learnt a lot.
“We have come back this week for more of the same. We have got a fight in three weeks and it was an opportunity to come back here where everyone has been so accommodating and so good to us. We’ve had a great time here,” he said.
Report by John Gillespie | Twitter: @Times_Sport
Don’t miss next week’s Times for our full interview with the sporting icon and exclusive photographs from his training session