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Ashes to bashes: Kiwi cricketer pursues Freddie Flintoff bout

Looks like there will be no peaceful retirement for the affable boxing novice.

Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff in action on his pro debut.
Andrew 'Freddie' Flintoff in action on his pro debut.
Image: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

BLACK CAP CRICKETER Jesse Ryder wants to give bowler turned boxer Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff a black eye.

The New Zealand all-rounder, who appeared as an overseas player for Ireland in 2007, is keen to secure a bout with Flintoff in Spring of next year.

Flintoff made his professional boxing debut last month in a bout captured by for the Sky television series From Lords to the Ring.

Lancashire native Flintoff played his final test match for England in 2009 and is said to be weighing up his sporting options since defeating American boxer Richard Dawson in his first outing at the MEN Arena in Manchester.

Ryder made his ring debut six months ago and easily defeated radio host Mark Watson, by TKO, in a charity bout.

Duco Events director David Higgins told the New Zealand Herald that securing another Ryder fight, possibly on the undercard of a professional bout, was being sought.

Higgins said a fight between Ryder and Flintoff could coincide with England’s cricket tour of New Zealand, which begins next February.

However, the player’s manager Aaron Klee said: “It would have to fit into a window that didn’t have cricket on because he couldn’t do both, particularly if he was playing for the Black Caps, but we haven’t made that decision yet.”

The two players have never met on the cricket field but share similar batting and bowling abilities. Chequered incidents have also made frequent incursions in their sporting careers.

Earlier this year, Ryder admitted that his drinking binges had caused him to lose cricketing focus and ‘burn out’.

Flintoff was relieved of the England vice captaincy in 2007 when, during the World Cup the West Indies, he became inebriated and fell off a pedalo boat into the sea.

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Patrick McCarry

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