In the week leading up to Dave Allen’s fight with David Price, there was talk that a bout with former heavyweight world champion Alexander Povetkin was sealed with a victory. However, the ‘White Rhino’ came up against a rejuvenated Liverpudlian at the O2 Arena on July 28, who was on a mission to prove the doubters wrong.
The 36-year-old, Price dominated proceedings in an unexpected one-sided contest, so much so that Allen’s trainer Darren Barker had no choice but to throw in the towel. Distressing scenes followed as the self-proclaimed ‘Doncaster De La Hoya’ left the arena in an ambulance after 10 punishing rounds.
Four successive victories, including a showreel knockout over Nick Webb and a swift stoppage of former WBA world heavyweight champion Lucas Browne had perhaps masked the vulnerabilities of Allen and the step up against Price was an unfortunate case of self-over-estimation.
After briefly considering his future in the sport, but following medical tests which confirmed he could fight again, Allen was set to return on last week’s Newcastle bill headlined by Lewis Ritson and Robbie Davies Jr. However, the 27-year-old sensibly pulled out citing that he was simply not ready to head back into the ring.
“My frame of mind is not one I believe I can put together any kind of training camp for this fight and ultimately, physically, I am not feeling ready to compete,” Allen said on pulling out.
“I made and make comments all the time that people will question and furthermore blow up to create headlines or drama, but for me they’re just how I feel and the norm.”
This is why perhaps the sudden call out of British champion Daniel Dubois in the First Direct Arena, as he watched Josh Warrington stroll to a second-round knockout of Sofiane Takoucht in Leeds on October 12 was perplexing but ultimately had the desired effect of getting the boxing world talking.
Unbeaten Dubois has already been compared to the legendary Mike Tyson and claimed the Lonsdale belt after a stunning stoppage over former Great Britain teammate Nathan Gorman in July at just 21 years old. To put the feat into perspective former WBC ruler Lennox Lewis was 25 years old, meanwhile Anthony Joshua was 26 years old when he claimed the strap in a grudge win over Dillian Whyte in 2015.
However, despite the comparisons and the excitement at the Londoner’s potential, a fight against Dave Allen could be a smarter move than many foresee.
The draw of Allen
Dave Allen’s stock is higher than most in boxing, especially in Britain. Whilst his talent has at the very top level has often been questioned, his popularity and admiration amongst the public is certain. After all, public demand essentially forced promoter Eddie Hearn to hand him main event status ahead of Dereck Chisora for his successful showdown against Lucas Browne at the O2 in April and the faith was repaid with a career best victory.
Despite his ferocious ability, Dubois is far less marketable to the public at the moment than his potential foe, who has featured on consistent pay-per-view shows throughout his 24 fight career. There may be tougher and sterner tests available to Dubois, however not many that would provide the exposure and build-up which Allen could produce.
Age of first British heavyweight title win 🇬🇧🏆
Dillian Whyte 🏆 28 years, 5 months
Dereck Chisora 🏆 26 years, 4 months
Anthony Joshua 🏆 26 years, 1 month
Lennox Lewis 🏆 25 years, 6 months
Tyson Fury 🏆 22 years, 11 months
Daniel Dubois 🏆 21 years, 10 months pic.twitter.com/7Nx2KkORtO
— Boxing on BT Sport 🥊 (@BTSportBoxing) July 15, 2019
Allen is durable and experienced
The main component which sets the ‘White Rhino’ apart from the remainder of the British scene is his fearless nature which has been proved through several gruelling bouts, The 27-year-old took Dillian Whyte all 10 rounds in 2016, before stepping up to face feared Cuban Luis Ortiz in his very next contest, a valiant seventh round stoppage loss.
A decision loss and draw with Lenroy Thomas for the Commonwealth heavyweight strap proved further courage and durability if nothing else, whilst a final round knockout against Tony Yoka in a punishing night in Paris, when he could have been pulled out earlier was an immense stand and would suggest Dubois, who has been relatively flawless as a professional would be in for a potentially tough night.
Dubois hits too hard
Dubois has the nickname ‘Dynamite’ with very good reason. The Greenwich man has only gone the distance once in 13 fights with Kevin Johnson, giving him a frightening knockout percentage of 92%. ‘Triple D’ dispatched Ebenezer Tetteh in just a round in September and Ricky Hatton’s protégé Nathan Gorman was similarly blown away for the British belt in five rounds. For all the durability of Allen mentioned, the fear would be that Dubois simply holds too much power, perhaps greater than anyone he’s ever faced before. Even if Allen was able to hear the final bell, it could still represent a punishing evening. Although as the saying in boxing goes, you can’t go swimming and not get wet.
Is Allen mentally and physically ready?
A fight with Dubois would undoubtedly excite the public and hand Allen a fairly decent pay day, but ultimately health must come first and this has never felt more prevalent following Patrick Day losing his life after a severe knockout defeat to Charles Conwell on October 16. Considering he explained he wasn’t ready to fight in Newcastle last Saturday then surely a rumoured date in December will come too soon. Allen has since asked for the fight in March, which will give him a longer training camp to prepare for a bout of this magnitude, however the 27-year-old, who labelled Frank Warren’s offer as ‘horrendously low’ must ensure he is 100% ready or otherwise be advised correctly not to take the fight.
When frank warren nearly meets your asking price for the Dubois fight pic.twitter.com/cnxUvgc6Fq
— Papi De La Mercenary (@davidthewhiter1) October 21, 2019