Former England cricketing hero Flintoff had trained rigorously under Barry and Shane McGuigan for the crossover at the age of 35, and landed a number of clean shots in his first two-minute round of action against the American.
The Preston man showed a lack of technique and co-ordination throughout and walked into a solid left early in round two which put him to the canvas.
Rising in time to meet the referee at eight, Flintoff went on to win rounds three and four and post a points win of 39-38 on the official's scorecard
The 2005 Ashes star inflicted upon Dawson his first professional defeat (2-1) in beginning his own with victory.
And after the bout, Flintoff gave nothing away as to whether he would step into the ring again.
He said: "The Ashes was amazing but as a personal achievement, this was my best. It wasn't natural for me but the McGuigans have pushed me all the way and it's down to them"
"As for boxing again, we'll see how it goes. I think Goughy should shed a few pounds and get in the ring with me!"
Underneath the special attraction fight at the Manchester Arena, Bradley Saunders continued his fine start to professional boxing with a points win over Peter McDonagh.