This was indeed for April Fools. Our thanks to Brad Gilbert, Christopher Clarey and everyone else who played along with the story. - Ed
Andy Murray has often talked the talk when it comes to his professed love of boxing. But now the Scottish superstar will get the chance to walk the walk, as he gets set to go toe-to-toe in the ring with cricketer-turned-fighter Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff.
The new world number two today confirmed that the one-off charity match-up will take place at Glasgow’s Braehead Arena on Saturday 20th July, between the end of the English grass-court season and the start of the US hard-court swing.
Whispers about a potential bout for the would-be boxer had been rife in press circles for some time. But fuel was added to the fire last week when The Times posted a picture of Murray in full fighting regalia after a gym session in downtown Miami.
Former England captain Flintoff, who retired from cricket in 2010, switched sporting allegiance to climb off the canvas last December and win a points decision over American Richard Dawson on his heavyweight boxing debut.
After that scrap, the 34-year-old Flintoff hinted that the fight might not be his last: "We'll see how we go. It's not natural to me - I've had to work so hard.”Read more (159 words)
Murray is thrilled at the prospect of making good on his boyhood dream of competing in the ring. Speaking at a hastily arranged press conference at Miami’s Crandon Park after defeating David Ferrer for the Miami Masters title, he said, “Freddie heard about my love of boxing and decided to personally hand-pick me as his next opponent. It should be a laugh and raise some money at the same time.”
But Murray’s fighting ambitions have not been warmly welcomed in every corner. The Scot’s coach, Ivan Lendl, also facing the press in Miami, warned, “It’s Andy’s decision, but I feel he’s being foolish. Boxing requires a different skill set and the chance of injury is too great. If Andy continues to go out on a limb like this, we might have to review our arrangements.”
Discounted early-bird tickets can be reserved at the Braehead box office on 0141 886 8300.Murray in full fighting regalia in Miami (1 image)