On the 26th March, Kell Brook will defend his IBF world title against Kevin Bizier. Everybody is overlooking that fight as one that Brook should win comfortably, but there is a genuine 50/50 fight on the undercard featuring two top domestic heavyweights.
David Allen is set to face Richard Towers in an eliminator for Anthony Joshua’s British title and currently there is nothing to split the pair in terms of ability.
Allen is a 23 year old heavyweight, already ranked number 11 in Britain after only nine professional fights. He boasts an undefeated record of eight wins (five inside the distance) and a single draw.
The ‘White Rhino’ is one win away from making a big name for himself in a division that’s booming domestically.
David has been speaking to InstantBoxing.com’s Luke Madeira, and here is what he had to say:
Why did you first get into boxing?
I got into boxing through my Dad being a professional fighter himself. I used to hang around my local gym when my Dad was there and that’s how I got into it really. When I first started up properly myself I just joined a few friends when they went down to the gym and I realised I was quite good at it. I stuck at it and then went to Brendan Ingle’s gym and that’s where it really kicked off.
How much amateur experience did you have before you turned professional?
I only had ten fights as an amateur but seven of them were for either the Yorkshire belt or in other competitions like the ABAs. I won nine and lost one so I didn’t have the most experience but as an amateur I sparred all of the best amateurs in Britain. I sparred Fraser Clarke, Joe Joyce, Anthony Joshua and I even sparred Clinton Woods when I was eighteen. I was lucky really that my Dad was involved in boxing and he wasn’t scared to ring people up and say ‘look, my son needs to spar’. He took me everywhere and although I may have not had the in-ring experience, I used to go everywhere and spar.
How have you found the professional game so far?
It was easy to start with. Obviously boxing is never easy but I boxed at a decent level as an amateur and when you turn pro and fight some of these foreign opposition, they are pretty poor. It was an easy start and I got a bit complacent which lead to me slipping up and getting a draw in my sixth fight, mainly because I was out of shape and I overlooked it. Since then I have had a few good wins; I beat Larry Olubamiwo who still had a little bit of ambition and beat the former French heavyweight champion, so it has gone really well up to now but my next fight is my first real test.
Yes it takes me five or six rounds to warm into a fight. Sometimes I can look a bit scrappy when I fight, sometimes I’m not the smoothest but when I start to fight ten or twelve round fights like the next one you will see the best of me because it does take me time to warm into fights. My best assets are my strength, toughness and fitness because I’m not the biggest heavyweight in the work but that means I’m naturally fitter and I’ve got a great engine. I think my strength and my engine are my two biggest assets, and in a longer fight I think they will come to the fore.
So far in your career quite a few of your opponents have had winning records, how important has that been for your development in the early stages of your career?
I’ve had nine fights and because I didn’t have a massive amateur background we started off with some easier fights and then I’ve had three fights where they have been 50/50 fights. You don’t see a lot of fighters have three out of their first nine fights as 50/50 fights. They have helped me mature and improve further than I would fighting three or four more journeymen instead. The last fight against the Frenchman was a tough one, and the fight with Larry was a tough one even though I won comprehensively. The Bulgarian that I boxed beat Kubrat Pulev as an amateur so that was a hard fight. I think when I fight Richard, experience is what will get me through that fight. I have always had a nack of just getting through and winning the fight, and it doesn’t matter how I do it as long as I win.
Last time out you fought at the Sheffield Arena, how did you find the experience of being on such a big show?
I’ve been lucky that I have been on a lot of big shows. My third fight was on the Amir Khan – Julio Diaz undercard at the Sheffield Arena and I’ve boxed on the undercard of another world title fight in Newcastle so I am used to being on these big arena shows now. It will be a different atmosphere against Richard because the Sheffield Arena will be packed and it’s live on Sky Sports. That’s not something that will bother me because when it comes down to it, it’s only me and Richard in the ring. It doesn’t matter if it is at the Sheffield Arena or in a place that only holds a couple of hundred.
In three weeks time you’re fighting Towers, how much do you know about him?
I’ve known Richard since I first got involved with boxing as a kid at around sixteen. I can’t knock Richard he has always been great with me. In the ring he has helped me out a lot with boxing and outside the ring he has been a good friend to me. This is just business, both of us want to further our careers and it’s Richard’s last chance. I know he will be 100% ready and so will I. I think it’s going to be the best fight of the night, we are two big strong heavyweights and I see there being a knock out.
With the fight being an eliminator for the British title, do you see this as an opportunity to really make a name for yourself in a division that is now booming domestically?
Yes the winner of this fight really puts themselves firstly in line for a British title shot and secondly in the mix with some big names in what is a very exciting division now, especially in Britain. I’m not looking past Richard but I am looking at all of the big names; David Price, Dillian Whyte, Derek Chisora. If Joshua is unsuccessful against Charles Martin what a great fight that would be for myself. I’m not looking past Richard because I know how good he is but at the same time it is exciting and it’s nice to look past that and look what could be, which makes me want to train even harder for this fight.
In a year’s time I would like to have picked up the Lonsdale belt. I have always said that that is what I got into boxing for. In a year’s time if I won the British title and I was on the way to getting a big fight with the likes of Chisora, Joshua or Price then that would be great. Firstly I need to beat Richard, then win the Lonsdale belt and after that we will see.
What is the dream for you as a fighter?
I always said to win the British title when I first started out because at the time, seven years ago, I never thought that I would have the chance to become British champion. I never thought that I would have an amateur fight when I stepped through the gym doors. What I am doing now is more than I ever expected, but looking at it now if I don’t win a British title I will be very disappointed. First and foremost I want to win the British title but every fighter should want to be a world champion and ultimately that is my aim. British title first and then we will see where I can go from there.
Favourite fighter growing up – Marvin Hagler.
Favourite glove – Reyes.
Best ever round – Holyfield-Cooper round three.
First fight you went to – Stefy Bull-Ali Wyatt.
First memory of boxing – Watching boxing on Eurosport with my Dad as a kid.
Best punch you’ve ever received – I would say the best shot that I ever received, and he doesn’t know this, was probably when I got hit with a beautiful body shot from Tyson Fury. I didn’t show it at the time though.
Craziest thing you’ve seen in boxing – I’ve seen Jody Meikle fight a few times and he’s a crazy man. He does some funny stuff in the ring and he’s one of my favourite fighters to watch.
Funniest personal moment in boxing – A lot of the funniest things I have seen in boxing are on Twitter, seeing the things that people write to me on there.
Best fight you’ve seen live – Glenn Foot against Mark Heffron, ABA semi-final in 2010.