Boxing promoter Frank Maloney has accused Andrew Flintoff of a TV ‘stunt’ that will ‘shame’ the sport.
The 34-year-old, from Ribbleton, Preston, posed for photos with heavyweight David Price.
The former England cricket captain was pictured with the British champion and world-title contender, as part of his build-up for a professional debut in the ring.
He is due to fight at the Manchester Arena on November 30 against an opponent yet to be named, but Price’s promoter, Frank Maloney, described it as a “stunt which should never be allowed to happen”.
He said: “Giving Flintoff a professional licence with no experience of boxing is a joke. It gives our sport a bad name.”
Price and Flintoff appear on separate bills on the same night.
Flintoff is being trained by Irish boxing legend Barry McGuigan, who has insisted the TV reality show is a serious exercise.
But Maloney said: “They asked if we could be on the same bill, but I would never be involved in promoting something like this.
“This is nonsense but in our sport it’s dangerous nonsense. Olympic rower James Cracknell did something similar, went into a pro heavyweight fight and was knocked out in seconds.
“They haven’t named an opponent for Flintoff yet but even if they find some guy who’s lost his first four pro fights, he will still be in against someone with amateur experience. It will be a terrible shock when he gets hit on the chin by a heavyweight.”