Boxing clever

We look at some other sportsmen who have switched to the ring

By Tony Curtis - Follow me on Twitter: @SkysportsTC.   Last Updated: 06/09/12 11:22am

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Andrew Flintoff is set to start a new life as a professional boxer in November, with the former England cricketer the latest sportsman to switch careers.

And following Flintoff's announcement that he will fight in Manchester, Sky Sports looks back at some others who have renewed their sporting lives in the ring...

Anthony Mundine

Having spent seven years playing rugby league in the NRL for the Dragons and the Broncos, Mundine switched to boxing in 2000. The Australian, whose dad Tony made his name as a boxer, went on to have a successful career - becoming a two-time super-middleweight champion of the world. 'The Man' is the only fighter to have beaten the newly-crowned IBF and WBA middleweight king Daniel Geale, while he has triumphed in 44 of his 48 contests.

Sonny Bill Williams

Whether it is playing rugby league, rugby union or boxing, Williams simply excels. With a wealth of titles in both codes of rugby - including the World Cup crown with the All Blacks - Williams has made his mark in the ring, too. Williams, unbeaten in five fights, has already claimed the New Zealand heavyweight title and will continue to combine his rugby and boxing careers.

Charlie Powell

Arguably the pick of the NFL players who have taken the move into boxing, Powell was a defensive lineman for the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders. However he also enjoyed an 11-year boxing career, having made his debut in 1954. His 39-fight record saw a mixed bag of results (25 wins, 11 losses and three draws) but notably he beat the highly-rated Nino Valdes before losing to legendary duo Muhammad Ali and Floyd Patterson.

Alonzo Highsmith

The All-American defensive end enjoyed a stellar career playing college football, before making the step up to the NFL in 1987. After six seasons, playing for the Oilers, Cowboys, and Buccaneers, Highsmith turned to boxing after a series of knee injuries forced him to retire from the gridiron. Highsmith went on to win 27 of his 30 bouts - with 23 of those victories coming by way of knockout.

John Hopoate

The former Tonga and Australia international turned to boxing after his rugby league career was brought to a premature end due to a series of on-field incidents. Hopoate made an immediate impact, winning his first five bouts by stoppage. However he finished with a record of 12-5, with Oliver McCall among those to stop Hopoate.

Curtis Woodhouse

The former England Under-21s midfielder achieved a lifelong ambition when he finally became a professional boxer. After representing the likes of Birmingham, Sheffield United and Hull City, Woodhouse laced up the gloves to win his first 10 fights. And although his career has stuttered somewhat since (with a current record of 16-4), he will now fight in an eliminator for the English light-welterweight title.

Tom Zbikowski

The safety for the Indianapolis Colts has put his boxing career on hold so he focus on his NFL career - however there is a belief the 27-year-old can be a hit in the ring. Having had one professional fight in 2006 and an exhibition bout the following year, Zbikowski returned to boxing in 2011 during the NFL labour dispute. Trained by Emanuel Steward, Zbikowski extended his pro record to 4-0 before pigskin took preference once again.

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