WHEN former England cricketer Freddie Flintoff is finally left alone on Friday night at the MEN Arena, hopefully he will not look down at the wet imprint left by his pal Ricky Hatton's stricken body on the same canvas.
Flintoff's decision to fight as a professional boxer has never been a hoax and his slow and painful and bloody progress to novice heavyweight has been commendable.
Flintoff is not a natural boxer and was denied a licence the first time he applied, but he has doggedly pursued the craft in the gym, even if it mostly remains out of his grasp.
Nobody is certain where Flintoff's adventure will take him and there is wild speculation that a distant showdown with All Black Sonny Bill Williams is a possibility.
Well, it is not, trust me.
Williams, like Flintoff, is a fighter rather than a boxer, but he has in five pro fights just about managed to keep the cynics on their back foot; next year Williams meets former leading contender Frans Botha in potentially a bad, bad move.
I can't see how Botha loses, but stranger things have happened.
On the same night in Brisbane, when Williams fights next February, his friend and on-field enemy Quade Cooper will, having gained an Australian boxing licence, have a professional fight.
The Wallaby fly-half is taking a break from rugby, and boxing and rugby league look certain to play a big part in his future.
"I have always liked boxing and wanted to give it a go, to test myself," said Cooper, which seems to be a familiar cry from other converts.
A few years ago Curtis Woodhouse turned his back on a football career that included a multimillion-pound move and an England cap at Under-21 level, and decided that boxing was his future.
He had a difficult baptism live on ITV, refused to quit, won and lost a few, and is now, six years and 21 fights later, a genuine leading contender for the British title.
"I have heard people giving Freddie some stick, but he's put the hours in and has been honest about it," said Woodhouse.
"I wish him the best and I know that by now he has realised just how hard it is. It's not a game."
Woodhouse has been an inspiration during his years as a boxer.
I tend to dismiss the cash-and-grab antics of the converted American footballers who invariably end their flirtation with real contact in a heap on the canvas.
However, the search is still on in America for the next heavyweight champion and discarded college football players have been targeted. Who knows, perhaps one will have a muscle on his chin.
However, it is impossible to ignore the achievements of Australian rugby league player Anthony Mundine, who is arguably the greatest crossover athlete in boxing history.
Mundine played for Australia's under-19 team against GB, lost in the 1999 NRL Grand Final and was considered a real star before walking away at just 25 in 2000.
He is also a great talker and harsh critic of 'racist' Australia's treatment of Aboriginals.
Mundine has twice won world titles and is still going strong.
His fight next year against Daniel Geale, an Aboriginal fighter from Tasmania, will be a guaranteed sell-out after Mundine challenged Geale's roots.
"I thought that they wiped all the Aborigines in Tasmania out," Mundine said, which caused outrage.
It is lucky that he can fight and that his own roots are reinforced every time he lashes out at the government.
Flintoff's debut is real and even if it turns into a carnival of luvvies swapping air kisses at ringside the reality is that after all the sacrifices our Freddie will have to fight.
Nobody has been conned and a dozen other fighters will benefit from the exposure. I just hope he doesn't look down.
UP WHERE YOU BELONG!! Elegantly set on 42 acres of rolling hills and woodlands, this stunning estate showcases the ultimate country lifestyle with picture perfect...
This massive family home located in new, beautiful cul-de-sac at the beginning of Walloon is perfect if you're looking to live the city/country lifestyle! The home...
This fabulous large home in Winston Glades, Yamanto has been designed with the family in mind. Boasting: - 3 Separate living areas with a formal lounge, formal...
Get in quick to grab this quaint 1930's picturesque colonial features a single large front gable roof and wraparound verandah. It was moved to its current...
BRING ALL OFFERS! The owner of this great property has instructed me to sell and will look at all offers. This refurbished 2 bedroom unit features views all the...
Built in 1951, some ladies never grow old! Whether you are a first home buyer, investor or looking to downsize, you should not go past this beautifully presented...
RETIREMENT IS CALLING!! COMFORTABLE CONVENIENT LIVING on over an acre of scenic, semi-rural land, close to major services and in a highly sought after location...
3,632m2 block situated in progressive industrial area. * Zoned LDC Limited development (confirm usage options with Ipswich City Council) * Minutes to Ipswich CBD...
HOME SWEET HOME!!! INVESTORS DELIGHT Previously rented for $275 per week What a delightful home. Fully and professionally renovated. Gorgeous new kitchen with...
FIRST HOME / INVESTOR This is the perfect home for you. With schools, shops and the train line at your doorstep this is a conveniently located house, priced to...
Join the Community.
Get your local news, your way.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.