Tag Archives: boxer

Luke Campbell signs for Eddie Hearn Matchroom

First Hull, then the world! Campbell sets sights on titles after turning professional

, beating Ireland's John Joe Nevin in the final to win the gold medal.

He was awarded an MBE in the New Year's Honours List and will make his debut in his home city of Hull in July, possibly at the KC Stadium.

Sign on the dotted line: Luke Campbell has tuned professional with Eddie Hearn at Matchroom

Sign on the dotted line: Luke Campbell has tuned professional with Eddie Hearn at Matchroom

Sign on the dotted line: Luke Campbell has tuned professional with Eddie Hearn at Matchroom

'I've been an amateur boxer for 13 years and won medals at every elite tournament,' Campbell said.

'I've had time out after the Olympics to rest my body and mind and the passion burns inside me for this new journey.

'I've got the best team around me and I'm confident we an go all the way together.'

Campbell, who will fight at super featherweight or lightweight, is excited to be making his debut in his home city.

'I've never stopped training; I had five weeks off after the Games then I was back in the gym ticking over. It's a sport i thrive to be the best at; champions never rest.

'I'm training in different gyms. I'm still learning; I might be Olympic champion but I've got lots to learn.

Hidden talents: Campbell starred on Dancing on Ice following his Olympic success

Hidden talents: Campbell starred on Dancing on Ice following his Olympic success

Hidden talents: Campbell starred on Dancing on Ice following his Olympic success

'There is going to be a massive show in the first or second week of July and it is going to be an outdoor stadium event.

'This is going to be huge. I'm doing it for the people of Hull, and hope I can make them proud again.

'I love to entertain the fans and put
on a good show. I think the fans will bring an electric atmosphere and
it will be a night to remember.

'I am the most successful amateur
boxer in British history and now it is time to turn the page and move
into the pro game. The aim is to be world champion'.

Promoter Hearn, who revealed Kell Brook could make his return on the Hull show, was delighted to have secured Campbell's signature.

'We've finally got a real chance to have a crossover star in Luke Campbel,' he said.

'He's impressed me not just with his ability but also his determination and popularity in Hull.'

Main man: Campbell (right) in the final at the London Olympics and with his gold medal (below)

Main man: Campbell (right) in the final at the London Olympics and with his gold medal (below)

Golden boy: Luke Campbell celebrates his Olympic success last year

British Amateur Boxing Association
performance director Rob McCracken said: 'Luke has been a great servant
to the World Class Performance Programme for a number of years and an
excellent role-model to other members of the squad in both his
medal-winning performances and the way he conducts himself inside and
outside of the gym.

'It is a disappointment for us that
Luke has decided his future lies away from the GB Boxing squad but he
departs with our best regards and we wish him every success in his
future career.

'As we enter the Rio cycle, the majority of the boxers that competed in London remain part of our squad and we have some excellent talents coming through so the programme has a strong nucleus to work with and a good opportunity to add to the success we have enjoyed in recent years.'

Campbell, who joined the GB Boxing squad in 2007, will join Anthony Ogogo and Tom Stalker from Britain's 2012 squad in the paid ranks.

Nicklas Bendtner banned and fined for drink driving

'The worst day of my life': Bendtner slapped with 100k fine and three-year ban for drink driving

European
Championships, Bendtner was fined 80,000 and banned for one
international match by UEFA for brandishing a pair of Paddy Power boxer
shorts after scoring for Denmark.

Happier times: Bendtner thrived during his time at the Stadium of Light

Happier times: Bendtner thrived during his time at the Stadium of Light

Darren Barker proposes at Wembley Stadium

Knocked off her feet! Boxer Barker proposes via Wembley scoreboard… but did he get the answer he was looking for

By
Martin Domin

PUBLISHED:

00:57 GMT, 14 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

01:32 GMT, 14 February 2013

Roses Check. Chocolates Check. Dinner at a fancy restaurant Check.

As Valentine's Day dawns, men up and down the country will be hoping they’ve finally got it right.

But they will have to go some to beat the efforts of boxer Darren Barker who proposed to his girlfriend Gemma at Wembley Stadium.

The big question: Darren Barker proposed to girlfriend Gemma at Wembley Stadium

The big question: Darren Barker proposed to girlfriend Gemma at Wembley Stadium

The middleweight, who was at the ground
to promote his next fight at Wembley Arena on March 9, used the giant scoreboard to ask the all-important question – and the answer was a
resounding 'Yes'.

'It was short notice; I knew someone at Wembley and they said I could do it on the scoreboard,' Barker told Sportsmail. 'I’ve wanted to do it for a while, I’ve been with Gemma for 12 years so it was overdue; she’s been long suffering but she's over the moon.

'She didn’t think I had it in me; she’s a happy woman thankfully.'

Having pulled out all the stops for his proposal, Barker expects to get off lightly today.

'She’ll get a nice card from Hallmark and that will be her lot,' he joked. 'It’s what she’ll do for me, that’s the question!'

Darren Barker

Darren Barker

Sealed with a kiss: Barker got the answer he was looking for when he proposed at Wembley

With his next fight on the horizon, Barker has put the engagement party on hold.

'We went out for a bit of lunch, she had a glass of wine but I was on the mineral water! We’ll wait until after the fight.'

Gemma later tweeted: 'I was at
Wembley Stadium earlier where Darren was having a photo shoot and doing a
bit for the press…..I said yes!

'I'm
over the moon to be engaged was so lovely and we were lucky to have
some amazing photos taken on the pitch under the sign xxx'

The 30-year-old Chelsea fan, who expects to tie the knot next year, also got his hands on the FA Cup ahead of the Blue's replay against Brentford on Sunday.

Up for the cup: Chelsea fan Barker

Up for the cup: Chelsea fan Barker

'It was good getting hold of the FA
Cup,' he said. 'Brentford had their bit of glory getting a replay at
Stamford Bridge but I think you’ll see the true professionalism come
through now.'

Chelsea have struggled this season and the FA Cup is their only realistic chance of domestic silverware.

'In some respects I would rather have
gone right out of Europe,' Barker admitted.

'The Europa League is a bit
of a nightmare with the added fixtures and travelling. It’s second best
to the Champions League and we only want the best at Chelsea. I’d
rather win the FA Cup.'

After a long lay-off with injury, Barker returned to the ring in December when he stopped Kerry Hope inside four rounds.

With just over three weeks to go until the first bell, Barker's opponent has yet to be confirmed but he revealed to Sportsmail that a deal is close.

'It looks like being Simone Rotolo who I
was supposed to fight in September when I pulled out injured so I
suppose there’s a bit of unfinished business there,' he said.

'We won’t take him lightly as he’s a good
fighter and an experienced opponent. We were looking for a top 10
opponent but everyone’s either busy or holding out for a world title
shot.

'The next fight after this will be huge, either a big domestic dust-up or a world title shot.'

And when his big moment arrives, Barker would love nothing more than to fight at Stamford Bridge.

'It would be a real honour to fight at the Bridge,' he said. 'I’ve been going there for years and years as a kid and to fight there, I’d really have to pinch myself.

'It would have to be a big world title fight to fill a stadium like that.'

Tom Stalker becomes second London 2012 British boxer to turn pro after signing with Matchroom

Stalker becomes second London 2012 British boxer to turn pro after signing with Matchroom

By
Martin Domin

PUBLISHED:

13:17 GMT, 9 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

15:35 GMT, 9 January 2013

Thomas Stalker has become the second British Olympic boxer to turn professional.

The 28-year-old has signed with Eddie Hearn's Matchroom outfit and follows London team-mate Anthony Ogogo into the paid ranks.

The Sportsmail columnist will make his debut in February and will also be on the undercard of Tony Bellew's world title eliminator against Isaac Chilemba at Liverpool's Echo Arena on March 30.

Turning pro: Stalker has signed with Matchroom

Turning pro: Stalker has signed with Matchroom

Stalker is a former European and
Commonwealth gold medalist and was controversially beaten in the
quarter-finals at the London Games.

'I feel I am going to be exciting to
watch as a professional boxer,' Stalker said. 'I felt it was time for me
to turn professional now and see how far I can go. I have done
everything I could possibly do as an amateur, bar winning an Olympic
medal.

'Even though I didn’t medal myself,
as a team I have captained the most successful amateur boxing team we
have ever had and that was a big thing for me.

Leader: Tom StalLeader: Tom Stalker (second right) was Team GB's captainker was Team GB's captain

Leader: Tom Stalker (second right) was Team GB's captain

Stalker is a former European and
Commonwealth gold medalist and was controversially beaten in the
quarter-finals at the London Games.

'I feel I am going to be exciting to
watch as a professional boxer,' Stalker said. 'I felt it was time for me
to turn professional now and see how far I can go. I have done
everything I could possibly do as an amateur, bar winning an Olympic
medal.

'Even though I didn’t medal myself,
as a team I have captained the most successful amateur boxing team we
have ever had and that was a big thing for me.

Dedicated: Stalker hard at work

Dedicated: Stalker hard at work

'It wasn’t just a three-week
tournament it had been four years of trying to qualify to win those
medals so to see all the lads and women do so well and win medals was
amazing and I am very honoured to have captained that team.

'Winning the Commonwealth Games gold
medal was obviously a highlight for me in the amateurs but I would say
qualifying for the Olympics was a big moment after all the hard work it
took to qualify.

'Since the Olympics I haven’t had a
goal and I have been a bit depressed, especially seeing the other lads
doing all sorts of stuff but now I have that hunger back and to get in
that ring and fight is going to be amazing. The one for me is going to
be March, boxing a homecoming in Liverpool. It is going to be amazing
for me to be boxing in front of all my friends and family in Liverpool
and that is when I will really feel like a professional.

First: Anthony Ogogo had already turned pro

First: Anthony Ogogo had already turned pro

'I think a lot of Eddie Hearn and I
think a lot of the fighters he has; Carl Froch, Kell Brook and of course
the Liverpool fighters he has got, Tony Bellew, Rocky Fielding and
Callum Smith. I thought it made sense to go with Matchroom because Eddie
is doing really well for his fighters at the moment.

'Kal Yafai, Scotty Cardle and Martin
J. Ward were all really good friends in the GB squad and I see them
doing really well now with Matchroom. When I was watching Scott Cardle’s
last fight I was picturing myself against the opponent he was fighting
because he is about the same weight as me.'

Stalker will be trained by Paul and
Mick Stevenson at Everton Red Triangle boxing club alongside British
flyweight champion Kevin Satchell.

Guide: Eddie Hearn will promote Stalker

Guide: Eddie Hearn will promote Stalker

Rob McCracken, GB Boxing performance
director, said: 'It has been very good working with Tom over the last
three years, when he has shown himself to be a fine boxer with the
ability to win medals at major tournaments.

'It is disappointing for us that Tom
has decided his future lies away from the GB Boxing squad but he departs
with our best regards and we wish him every success in his future
career.'

Lionel Messi comes third in Argentina"s best athlete poll

Third rate! Messi loses out to boxer and taekwondo fighter for Argentina's best athlete award

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UPDATED:

20:28 GMT, 19 December 2012

Ask a group of people who you think the best athlete or sportsman in the world is, and Lionel Messi will be a name you'll hear a lot.

Unless this group of people is comprised of Argentine journalists, who don't even rate Messi as the best in their country. Or second best for that matter.

Pretty good year: Sergio Martinez with his trophy after beating Sebastian Chrismanich and Lionel Messi to the award

Pretty good year: Sergio Martinez with his trophy after beating Sebastian Chrismanich and Lionel Messi to the award

Ready for it: Martinez will fight British boxer Martin Murray in April 2013

Ready for it: Martinez will fight British boxer Martin Murray in April 2013

No, it was third place for the Barcelona superstar who finished behind boxer Sergio Martinez and taekwondo fighter Sebastian Crismanich.

Messi's incredible record breaking goal haul – he has 90 so far this year – wasn't enough to put him ahead of the competition.

Martinez won the Olimpia de Oro after beating Mexican Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in their WBC title fight earlier this year. He will fight British boxer Martin Murray in April 2013.

What, not me Lionel Messi finished third in the poll of Argentine journalists

What, not me Lionel Messi finished third in the poll of Argentine journalists

Crismanich, meanwhile, was Argentina's only gold medallist in the London 2012 Olympics.

'It is an honor having won this prize contending with athletes like Sebastian Crismanich and Leo Messi,' Martinez said at the award ceremony on Tuesday night.

But having picked up the award in 2011 and being the hot favourite for the Ballon d'Or, Messi won't be too upset.

Amir Khan v Carlos Molina LIVE

LIVE: Amir Khan v Carlos Molina – round-by-round coverage of the big fight

Amir Khan goes head-to-head with Carlos Molina in what is a make or break fight for the Bolton boxer. After successive defeats to Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia, Khan sacked trainer Freddie Roach and teamed up with Virgil Hunter. He will be expected to kick off the new era with victory in Los Angeles.

Email your thoughts to [email protected] or via Twitter @martin_domin

Back on track: Amir Khan celebrates

Back on track: Amir Khan celebrates

6.15am: That's all from me. Stay with us for all the fall-out from LA and in the New Year when we will continue to bring you the best boxing coverage at home and abroad.

6am: I wouldn't want anyone to get carried away with this result, just as people shouldn't have gotten carried away with the Garcia defeat. Molina was a hand-picked opponent who only stood standing because he is pretty tough. Khan's hands were fast, as they always are, he looked sharp and he put his punches together well. But he was helped by the cut around Molina's eye and the gulf in class.

Read the full report here.

5.50am: That was a sensible stoppage from the corner there and it could have come a couple of rounds earlier.

In his post-fight interview, Khan says he wants a rematch with Danny Garcia who was ringside tonight.

ALL OVER ! AMIR KHAN BEATS CARLOS MOLINA

Round 10: Molina does come out with more fight in the 10th as he tries to land shots of his own but Khan can almost move in slow motion and still avoid them. The referee is over to the corner again at the bell and this time Molina is pulled out.

Round 9: Blood is pouring from Molina's eye and surely he won't be allowed back out after this session He can't get close to Khan despite charging forward and Khan picks him off with ease. The referee talks to the corner and makes it clear the home favourite must show something else he will call it off 10-9

Round 8: Molina may not be stopped but the gulf in class is apparent in every round. Khan dances around the ring, landing at will with his sharp one-two-three punch combinations. The Mexican-American's eye is examined at the break but he's OK to continue 10-9

Round 7: I didn't think we'd get to the second half to be honest, but here we are. There is very little coming back from Molina now. He tries to land with the odd left but all the good work is coming from Khan. He connects with strong right hand in the final minute of the round but otherwise, he is content to keep Molina at bay with the jab 10-9

Round 6: Another quieter round as Khan fights in bursts. Coming in off the jab, he lets his hands go and then gets out. Nice work once again. The ridiculous thing is that whenever he is hit, the crowd seem to think he's going down. A huge over-reaction after Garcia 10-9

Easy pickings: Khan landed with increasing regularity against an outclassed Molina

Easy pickings: Khan landed with increasing regularity against an outclassed Molina

Round 5: Credit to Molina, he keeps coming forward, taking his punishment and then marching on again. He does manage to land a left flush on Khan but the response is another flurry of fast punches which will be catching the eye much more than the home favourite's solitary jabs. The pace slowed in that round but another one to the Brit 10-9

Round 4: Big session for Khan as he switches from head to body before peppering Molina with a barrage of shots. His speed is incredible at times. Molina stands up well though and is nothing if not tough. He fights back a little towards the end of the round but the stoppage is surely coming 10-9

Round 3: A quiet start to the round but Molina catches Khan again with a swinging right only for the Brit to land several flurries of his own. He then gets the better of an exchange on the ropes, finding the target with the uppercut. Molina's eye is getting worse and won't help him see Khan's fast hands coming at him. 10-9

Round 2: Molina comes out swinging with the left, and misses. He has a reach disadvantage and is repeatedly out of range as Khan lands his combinations with relative ease. The Brit also moves downstairs with the right hand though but is caught flush on the face by Molina. Just as well he's not a bigger puncher or that might have been serious 10-9

Round 1: Khan doesn't waste time in getting to work, rushing at Molina from the first bell. Khan takes a right but there is already bad markings around his opponent's left eye. Khan controls the centre of the ring and uses his speed well, doubling up on the jab as Molina struggles to throw anything back. His eye is already a mess. My score (Khan first): 10-9.

Flush: Khan was on top from the first bell as Molina found himself overwhelmed

Flush: Khan was on top from the first bell as Molina found himself overwhelmed

5.05am: Khan is in the ring. This is his first non-world title fight for well over three years when he fought Marco Antonio Barrera .

5am: Here we go, it's ring walk time…

4.45am: It's all over! Wilder keeps up his remarkable record as a huge overhand right sends Price to the canvas and he does not recover. Now it's time for Khan.

4.40am: So far, so uninspiring from these two. Neither seem too willing to open up just yet. Boos from the crowd already.

4.35am: Both boxers in this next fight are unbeaten. Wilder has won all 25 of his bouts inside four rounds which is some record. Price meanwhile has won six of his 13 inside the scheduled distance.

This contest should tell certainly tell us more about Wilder. Is he really the next big heavyweight hope for the US

4.25am: Angulo has won the decision over Silva but Khan won't be next. Heavyweights Deontay Wilder and Kelvin Price are due in the ring first.

Hard fought: Alfredo Angulo (left) on his way to victory over Jorge Silva

Hard fought: Alfredo Angulo (left) on his way to victory over Jorge Silva

4.20am: Ward has had the following to say about Khan: 'I've seen an improvement. He's listening and willing to learn and that has been his first step. I think he's going to pull through in a big way. He only knows one way to fight, he's very eager and very zealous but [under Hunter] a little more patient and you're going to see a better Amir Khan.'

4,15am: We should have Khan in the ring within the next 20 minutes. Alfredo Angulo's bout with Jorge Silva are in the eighth of 10 rounds and the Brit is next.

4.10am: Meanwhile, in Texas, Nonito Donaire has beaten Jorge Arce inside three rounds to retain his WBO super-bantamweight title. The 'Filipino Flash' would be a daunting prospect for either of Britain's rising stars in the division, Carl Frampton or Scott Quigg.

4.05am: As I also said, assuming Khan wins this, and wins it well, I don't think we can read too much into it, unless there is a marked difference in the way he fights.

Yes, Andre Ward is among the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world but how much of that is down to Virgil Hunter and if the answer is a lot, how much of that coaching is transferable to Khan

Khan's problem has been ignoring instructions, choosing to go for the spectacular win and impress the crowd.

Well, there isn't much of a crowd to impress in LA… but regardless, he needs to start using his brain.

4am: Two things I'd like to point out. One, I think Khan lost to Peterson although the failed drugs test changes that a lot. And two, I don't believe he has a particularly suspect chin. The first punch from Garcia would have scrambled anybody's brain and lets not forget that Khan stood up to the best Marcos Maidana had to offer.

We don't seem to be calling Manny Pacquiao's chin weak just because he was KO'd last weekend.

Bludgeoning: Nonito Donaire (left) stopped Jorge Arce in the third round

Bludgeoning: Nonito Donaire (left) stopped Jorge Arce in the third round

3.50am: I am aware, of course, that Molina is unbeaten but he hasn't fought anyone with the calibre of Khan or his opponents. Khan doesn't need to have improved markedly to win this fight and I expect him to do so inside six rounds.

3.45am: Back to Khan, who we expect to make his ring walk at around 4.25am, and there is no doubt Molina has been put in front of him to get his confidence back and go into 2013 on a high.

A light puncher who is moving up a division… if Khan doesn't look good winning this then there is something wrong.

P.S. Andre Ward has just told Sky Sports that he wants a rematch with Carl Froch next year.

3.35am: In other news Stateside, Adrien Broner, considered by many as the heir to Floyd Mayweather Jnr's throne, has said he wants to face Scotland's Ricky Burns in a unification fight.

Broner is expected to be back in action on February 16 and Burns could be in the opposite corner in Atlantic City.

'I'm ready for Ricky Burns,' Broner said. 'He's a world-class fighter and I respect him for what he's done.

'I wanted to fight him for the WBO title, but he moved up. I hope he doesn't try and avoid me again.'

Down and out: Khan was sent crashing to the canvas by Danny Garcia earlier this year

Down and out: Khan was sent crashing to the canvas by Danny Garcia earlier this year

3.25am: Before I focus solely on Khan, there were some cracking fights in London last night as George Groves defended his Commonwealth super-middleweight title against teak tough Glen Johnson. Also in action was Billy Joe Saunders who beat Nick Blackwell for the British and Commonwealth middleweight titles.

You can read my reports from the Excel Arena here.

3.15am: As a result of suffering the defeat to Garcia, Khan split with trainer Freddie Roach and hooked up with Virgil Hunter who has guided the career of super middleweight world champion Andre Ward. We will see if the relationship has had time to develop over the last couple of months.

3.05am: It's fair to say it hasn't been the best of years for Bolton's Khan. After losing to Lamont Peterson last December, the American failed a drugs test in the build-up to the rematch. When that fight was shelved, Khan faced Danny Garcia but a huge left hand left the Brit in all sorts of trouble from which he couldn't recover.

3am: Good morning and welcome to Sportsmail's coverage of Amir Khan's make-or-break fight with Carlos Molina in Los Angeles.

Face off: Amir Khan (left) takes on Carlos Molina as he bids to get his career back on track

Face off: Amir Khan (left) takes on Carlos Molina as he bids to get his career back on track

Kell Brook world title fight with Devon Alexander pencilled in for February or March

Brook world title fight back on: Alexander showdown pencilled in for February or March

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UPDATED:

22:08 GMT, 13 December 2012

Rising British star Kell Brook has been given a provisional New Year date for a big world title fight in America.

Golden Boy promotions are pencilling in either February 23 or March 2 as the rescheduled date for the injured Brook’s challenge to welterweight champion Devon Alexander in Los Angeles.

Date with destiny: The Sheffield boxer will get his world title shot in February or March

Date with destiny: The Sheffield boxer will get his world title shot in February or March

Unbeaten: Brook has won all 29 of his professional fights with 19 knockouts

Unbeaten: Brook has won all 29 of his professional fights with 19 knockouts

Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn told BBC 5 Live: ‘Kell could have fought as planned next month but would only have been about 60 per cent fit after injury his ankle and missing road running.

'He is a little down in the dumps but in order to do himself justice, he can't fight on that day.

'I didn't want hundreds or thousands of Brits booking their flights to America and losing out.

'There's no way after all the work we've done, we can let a 60 per cent Kell Brook go into what is a 50/50 fight.

'It's not a terrible injury; he
turned it in Fuerteventura and he can't exert himself as well as the
strength and science guys want him to.'

Hearn continued: ‘We would prefer March 2 to give him more time to be 100 per cent for a fight as tough and important as this one.

'If it was up to Kell Brook, he'd fight but I have to intervene and listen to the experts.You cannot go out to America if you have any doubts in your mind.

'New York comes back into play and they're also talking about Detroit. We don't mind where we go but what does matter is that Kell is ready for the biggest fight of his life.'

Andrew Flintoff: My battle against bulimia

My battle to beat bulimia, reveals Flintoff as cricket hero sheds the pounds for start of his boxing career

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UPDATED:

08:57 GMT, 15 November 2012

England cricketing hero Andrew Flintoff has revealed how he battled with bulimia in the early stages of his career.

The 34-year-old told how he began throwing up in cricket grounds and restaurants after he piled on the pounds.

Flintoff, who has embarked on a sporting comeback as a heavyweight boxer and is set to fight on November 30, revealed his eating disorder in a documentary to be screened later this month.

England cricket star Freddie Flintoff, leaving the Punch Bowl pub in Mayfair with his wife Rachael Wools

England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff tucks into a curry in Durban

Honest: Former England cricketer Andrew Flintoff, left with wife Rachael, and right tucking into a curry during his playing days, has revealed how he suffered from Bulimia

He said: ‘I used to be a really skinny kid, I used to be tall and skinny and I didn’t drink, I didn’t do much.

‘Then I started putting weight on. My lifestyle was great, granted, when I started living on my own. I got to about 19 and a half to 20 stone.

‘It was all a bit deeper than that because to lose the weight, I wasn’t really sure how to go about it. I started being sick, I was sick a lot. I would eat and I would be sick.

‘I would be doing it myself. I would put my fingers down my throat and everyone within the team hierarchy thought it was great because I was losing weight.’

Flintoff, who was instrumental in two Ashes victories against Australia, said he was often called ‘fat lad’ and faced jibes such as ‘who ate all our pies’ He added: ‘I’ve thrown up in cricket grounds around the world, in restaurants, all sorts, and I lost about 15kg by doing that.

‘It’s not the right way to go, which I am very aware of. You start off doing it if you have a bad meal, you eat something you don’t think you should have eaten or you have drunk too much.

‘Then before you know it, even good meals you are getting rid of. It becomes a real habit. The only way really to lose weight is to train more and eat less, eat the right things.’

Andrew Flintoff poses during his boxing training

Back in the day, a larger Flintoff

Lean and keen: Flintoff, left, poses for a shot during his boxing training, and right, sporting a 'fuller figure' during his playing days

All change: As he embarks on his new sports career as a boxer, Flintoff has revealed he used to have serious issues with food

All change: As he embarks on his new sports career as a boxer, Flintoff has revealed he used to have serious issues with food

He hopes that speaking about his battle will raise awareness about bulimia.

A spokesman for the National Centre for Eating Disorders said: ‘It is well known that men get eating disorders, too – look at John Prescott (Mr Prescott revealed he had suffered from bulimia during his time as Deputy Prime Minister). This is a condition more likely to occur in someone who has poor body image or shaky self-esteem.’

The documentary Flintoff: From Lords to the Ring, to be screened on Sky1, details the sportsman’s career change from cricket to boxing. Flintoff also uses the programme to criticise former England team-mates who have since taken up careers in cricket commentating. He said: ‘I could have taken the easy option, saying ‘‘Coming into bat for England at No 3’’. But no, I go and get my head kicked in instead.’

Flintoff has been criticised for entering the sport of boxing as a ‘publicity stunt’.

Andrew Flintoff revealed he has struggled with his weight

Flintoff has yo-yo'd with his weight

Out in the open: Flintoff often received criticism from rival supporters over his weight as a professional cricketer – and now he has revealed how deep the problems went

But the cricketer, who lost 45lbs during a gruelling four-month training camp filmed for a three-part series to be screened on Sky1HD, insists his motives are honourable. ‘You couldn’t go through this for a TV stunt,’ he said. ‘I’m hoping this is something where boxing is celebrated.’

Flintoff was born Andrew but nicknamed ‘Freddy’ after Fred Flintstone. He married Rachael Woods in 2005 and has three children – Holly, eight, Corey, six, and Rocky, four. He announced his retirement from cricket in September 2010.

He is not the only sportsman to suffer from bulimia.

Footballer Paul Gascoigne detailed his battle with the condition in his 2006 autobiography ‘Being Gazza: Tackling My Demons’.

Natasha Jonas shows being a warrior woman is worth fighting for – Laura Williamson

Jonas shows being a warrior woman is worth fighting for

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UPDATED:

00:19 GMT, 12 November 2012

On Sunday August 5 I watched Natasha Jonas make history as the first British female boxer to step into the Olympic ring.

I remember feeling a very strong sense of admiration for what she had achieved and was impressed by the power, speed and technical skill of the sporting contest I was watching. But it also left me feeling churned; unsure if there was any genuine enjoyment in watching a woman getting hit.

So, three months on, I went to Jonas’s gym in Liverpool to try out boxing for myself…

Smiling assassin: Sportsmail's Laura with Natasha Jonas

Smiling assassin: Sportsmail's Laura with Natasha Jonas

In my job, I am used to walking into rooms of men and standing out like the proverbial sore thumb. Jonas’s gym was no different: Natasha Jonas is the only female name on the vests and plaques that decorate the walls and she jokingly referred to the ladies’ changing room as ‘mine’ because, for so long, she was the only one to use it.

This has changed now, given the success of women’s boxing at London 2012, but Jonas and I were the only women as a group of men grunted and sweated their way through a gruelling circuit of exercises using tyres, weights and ropes. It could not have been a more overtly masculine environment, yet it was far from intimidating. Instead, the over-riding feeling was of support.

Jonas trains in her weight, rather than gender, when the British squad meet up in Sheffield, and it felt no different here: they are proud not of their girl, but of their boxer. ‘You think everyone in a boxing gym will be snarling,’ says Jonas, ‘but we’re a proper little family.

‘Everyone still has a laugh but it helped me push myself.’

Packing a punch: Jonas trains at her gym in Liverpool

Packing a punch: Jonas trains at her gym in Liverpool

The atmosphere is welcoming and relaxed, but it changes when Jonas starts to punch, making an impressive rasping noise as she exhales. I am struck by her drive, power and concentration – and the switch from the smiley, self-deprecating 28-year-old woman who has been gently taking the mickey out of my failure even to put my gloves on properly.

Jonas admits her desire and will to win made the Olympics a ‘stressful’ time. She made history – something she wants to do again at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014 – but she was beaten by eventual lightweight champion Katie Taylor of Ireland. It was a thrilling fight in an incredible atmosphere that gave the sport the exposure it merited, but that still feels like scant consolation.

‘At the time it was disappointing but I think, in boxing, you are always going to get good and bad draws,’ she says. ‘I think I had a good draw to qualify for the Games, so I can’t complain. I have calmed down.

‘Afterwards I felt a bit of everything: anger, frustration, disappointment.

‘If I had gone in with the attitude of
having nothing to lose then I don’t think it would have hit me so badly.
But I went there to win. It wasn’t being delusional. Everyone can be
beaten in the ring. If I can compete with the best in the world I will
carry on until Rio in 2016. I firmly believe the body can do anything;
it’s whether you can cope mentally. I did find it all a bit stressful.’

On the ropes: Jonas was beaten at the Olympics by eventual champion Katie Taylor

On the ropes: Jonas was beaten at the Olympics by eventual champion Katie Taylor

Jonas will certainly not have to worry about any competition from me in Rio, that’s for sure. As I fluff my way through some attempts at jabs and punches she says kindly: ‘Your top half’s quite good. It’s the bottom half that needs work.’ My legs aren’t that bad, I think, until I realise what she means: I’m constantly overbalancing, leaning forward instead of keeping weight on my back foot. Oops.

The focus of our session is not on strength but on form, while the cardiovascular side of the training – running and skipping – is fun and challenging. I can see why Jonas took to this sport after a knee injury stopped her playing football. More importantly, I realise that getting hung up on the impact of a woman being hit is to disregard the quick thought process and technical preparation needed to land that blow.

It’s captivating and it also helps me to understand what Jonas meant when she used the phrase ‘warrior women’ after her first-round victory in London. I thought it brilliantly summed up the barriers – physical, psychological and social – female boxers had overcome to reach that point, but it implies a cerebral strength, not just a physical one.

‘I didn’t mean “warrior” like I was
going to kill everyone,’ she explains. ‘I think it means being strong
enough to fight for what you believe in. You can be a warrior woman and
be a mathematician, not just a boxer.’

Smiling assassin: Sportsmail's Laura with Natasha Jonas

What they said

It turns out Olympic gold medallist Nicola Adams is bisexual.

The boxer was judged to be No 1 in the Independent on Sunday’s Pink List last week and said: ‘It’s amazing to be on top of a list of such inspiring and influential people. Thanks to everyone for their continued support.’ She’s right: it will be ‘continued support’. Her sexual preference matters not a jot.

… and this is what I've been doing this week

PLEASED to see British gold medallists Laura Trott, Joanna Rowsell and Dani King have been signed by road cycling team DTPC (Dream Team Pro Cycling), which will be part-funded by Bradley Wiggins’ Wiggo Foundation. Developments like this are one of the most crucial components of the London 2012 legacy.

VISITING the O2 arena for the first time since covering GB’s memorable bronze medal in the men’s gymnastics team event at the Olympics. It was bright pink then, but on Wednesday it was blue for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals tennis. The Team GB flags were still out in force amid the mind-boggling amount of branding, mind you.

WATCHING England beat Fiji at Twickenham. It was a novel experience to watch a game without someone yelling a string of expletives in your ear; to hear a collective ‘oh dear’ when England made a mistake, rather than a barrage of abuse. It felt like a vehicle for people to have a good time, and, with England so firmly in control, I found it particularly strange to support a team without feeling any angst or tension whatsoever.

Nathan Cleverly will not fight Ryan Coyne

Cleverly's LA date hangs in the balance after Coyne withdraws due to legal battle

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UPDATED:

18:09 GMT, 30 October 2012

Nathan Cleverly will not defend his WBO world light-heavyweight title against Ryan Coyne in Los Angeles on November 10.

The unbeaten American withdrew from the contest after it became apparent his legal battle with his promoter Don King would not be concluded in time.

The pair were set to go to court on Thursday with King threatening Coyne and Frank Warren with a lawsuit, but now a new opponent will be sought with an announcement due on Wednesday.

Delay: Nathan Cleverly is waiting to discover who he will fight in Los Angeles

Delay: Nathan Cleverly is waiting to discover who he will fight in Los Angeles

Warren has drawn up a short list of three possibilities, although they would have to be ranked inside the WBO's top 15 in order for it to remain a title fight.

'Much as I hate to say it, this fight will not be going forward with myself involved in it,' Coyne told BBC Wales.

'This is the biggest disappointment of my career.

'I trained very, very diligently for this fight and I was devastated when I got the news.

Meeting of minds: Cleverly (left) with aspiring boxer Andrew Flintoff

Meeting of minds: Cleverly (left) with aspiring boxer Andrew Flintoff

'I want to apologise to the fans in the United Kingdom and the United States that this fight won't be going ahead, but hopefully we can get it on at a later date.

'We just have to let the managers and attorney's sort this out.'

Coyne's withdrawal is hugely disappointing for Cleverly, who opted for the LA date instead of a bout with Ukrainian Vyacheslav Uzelkov in Cardiff on October 27.