Squaring up against American Andrew Dawson, who has won his first two professional fights, Flintoff will have his work cut out for him if he is to persuade the naysayers – of which there are many – that his recent switch from fast bowling to boxing is more than just a reality TV-supported stunt.

“He’s [Flintoff] shredded in weight and you can tell by looking at his physique he’s transformed,” Freddie’s trainer Barry McGuigan has told BBC Sport ahead of this evening’s smackdown.

“He’s ready as he ever could be,” the former world featherweight champion continued. “He’s sparred over 300 rounds. He’s worked for four-and-a-half months solidly and he’s been doing 12 sessions a week for the last month and a half.

“Technically he’s still a novice. He’s got things to improve on,” he added.

There are those who have dismissed the fight as a stunt, accusations Flintoff and McGuigan have roundly dismissed, and others saying that it is decidedly irresponsible of the British Board of Control to grant Flintoff a licence.

Photo: Getty.