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Former cricketer Flintoff wins first bout

MANCHESTER, England (AP) - Former England cricketer Andrew Flintoff began his boxing career with a narrow victory over Richard Dawson on Friday night after being knocked down by the American.

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Flintoff, trained by former Irish boxer Barry McGuigan, took the four-round heavyweight bout by a 39-38 margin.

Flintoff recovered after being knocked down early in the second round by a left counter punch from Dawson, who was unable to follow up with a sustained assault.

The 34-year-old Flintoff ended his 15-year cricket career in September 2010, having become England captain and a national icon. His heavy frame made him a dominant pace bowler and a powerful shot-maker, but led to several knee injuries.

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