Fighting test for Hollioake

Adam Hollioake (left) seen here with WBF super middleweight champion Les Sherrington and Hayley Bateup.
Adam Hollioake (left) seen here with WBF super middleweight champion Les Sherrington and Hayley Bateup.

FORMER England one-day cricket captain Adam Hollioake pulls no punches.

He was declared bankrupt in Australia last year but he doesn't want sympathy for the mistakes he made - far from it.

The 40-year-old former all-rounder and now Gold Coast resident doesn't want any charity either.

What he would like is for people to take him seriously in his new professional sporting career as a MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) fighter.

Hollioake, who played four Test matches and 35 one-day internationals for England, will step into a cage for his debut fight against Joel Millar at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Center tonight.

This is no publicity stunt and no money-making exercise - this is for real.

You see, Hollioake firmly believes he was born to fight. He just happened to end up playing cricket as a career.

"I used to sneak out while I was at boarding school and go to boxing classes when I was 12," he laughed.

"I loved it (boxing) but then my parents found out and that was that."

But his love for boxing stayed with him - even in his cricket career.

"I did plenty of sparring and fitness work over many off-seasons," Hollioake, who lost his younger brother and fellow England cricketer Ben in a car accident in Perth in 2002, said.

"I might have considered leaving cricket a year or two earlier than I did and having a go at boxing, but I guess I wasn't in the right environment.

"Now the training is for real and I can't wait to get in the cage and prove to people that I deserve to be there."

Fighting in a cage is so different to cricket... or is it?

Hollioake faced his fair share of 140kmh thunderbolts during his career - he had no problem with that.

"I could handle those," he said.

"It was the spinners, like Warnie and Murali, who gave me grief.

"I was outclassed, but I never gave up. I will never throw in the towel in any sport I attempt.

"This isn't an attitude I've had to work at, it was just natural to me and you can be sure I'll take the same attitude into my new career.

"I relished a scrap in cricket and I'll certainly relish one in my new career."

Topics:  mixed martial arts

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