Belfast boxing lesson for Flintoff

Published Friday, 09 November 2012
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Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff has swapped his cricket bat for boxing gloves, getting into the ring in Belfast for a practice session with Barry McGuigan.

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It was just a normal training night at Holy Trinity Boxing club until former Ashes winning cricketer Flintoff turned up.

He's been getting ready for a professional fight later this month and has heard Belfast is the best place to come and train.

"I'm being trained by Barry and Shane McGuigan and he tells me the best place for training is over in Belfast," Flintoff told UTV.

"We have been at Holy Trinity, we have been training at Monkstown as well and are getting some invaluable experience from the best places going in to my first professional bout."

Belfast has been in the spotlight following the Olympic success of boxers Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan, who each won bronze in London.

Barry McGuigan said Flintoff has been working hard and has got in "tremendous" shape.

"He has been training very, very hard over the last three and a half months with my son Shane as his coach and I am the mentor and he has dropped 45 pounds in weight," he said.

"He has got himself in to tremendous physical shape. He has never worked so hard in his life. He has never taken on any challenge that has been as tough as this."

Flintoff has also had a pep talk from another former world champion Mike Tyson and, with his intensive training programme underway, he's confident he'll be ready for the fight in Manchester Arena on 30 November.

"And I will come back to Belfast," the cricket star continued. "I have met some great people.

"People over here have been so embracing, they have looked after us, they have helped us and I can't speak highly enough of people and hopefully these are friendships I will take on for the rest of my life and keep coming back."

© UTV News
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