For anyone that witnessed Dave Allen’s certified stinker with party pooper Jason Gavern in early 2016, it would’ve been hard to envisage the Yorkshireman being one fight away from a Commonwealth strap just over one year later. Though Allen was supposed to face Richard Towers in an all-English affair on that particular evening, his opponent was forced to pull out of the bout – leading to the ‘WOO’ master Gavern being drafted in – and putting on one of the worst heavyweight displays in broadcasting history.
Allen eventually got the fourth round stoppage after the American Gavern had lost two points for holding, though failed to impress in what was likely his last chance within a major broadcasting setup. As he told BNTV, he genuinely believed he’d blown his big moment – and the whirlwind journey back into the Sky fold hasn’t come without its difficulties. Allen said:
“My first time on Sky, I had to fight a French champion, and I wasn’t really at my best that night. I didn’t think I’d get that chance again, but then I was supposed to fight Richard Towers on Sky a few months later. I felt that the fight was coming a bit too soon, but I took it anyway. Richard ended up pulling out, and I got thrown in with Jason Gavern. We all know how that went down, and I kind of thought that it was going to be a long road back for me. Before the fight, there was talk of me fighting David Price, and that went out of the window completely.
“I only got back in because I took the Dillian Whyte fight on a couple of weeks’ notice, and there wasn’t much happening for me before that. It wasn’t an easy road back. It wasn’t like I was brought into a six rounder against a home fighter. Even then, that didn’t really lead to a proper opportunity, so I had to go in against Luis Ortiz in abysmal shape to get my chance. It’s been a long road back. I wasn’t gifted anything after that Gavern fight. If I hadn’t faced those two after the Gavern fight, I would absolutely not be back on Sky.”
Only the Jamaican Lenroy Thomas (20-4-0) now sits in the way of Allen winning a belt previously held by the likes of Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury, and a 25,000+ crowd will be roaring on the local man at Bramall Lane later this month on the Kell Brook vs Errol Spence undercard. The Doncaster man told us at BNTV that he’ll stop at nothing to seize his big moment, and that when push comes to shove, his opponent just won’t be ‘hard’ enough.
“The plan with me, always, is to keep on coming and keep breaking them down,” He said. “This is the same thing with Lenroy Thomas, and I’ll tell him when I see him. I want to bust him up, take his spirit and take him out. This time, I’m going to be fit enough. With Ortiz, I wasn’t. It might sound childish, but Lenroy Thomas just isn’t hard enough to deal with me. I’m gonna get straight in his face, and we’ll see whether he can handle it.”
Fans favourite, Allen, has sold in excess of £20,000 worth of tickets for his big night, with his fan base growing at an incredible rate given his stature. He admitted the support that he continues to receive makes him emotional at times, before adding it was surprising for someone who ‘hadn’t done anything amazing’ and ‘didn’t have many friends’. Perhaps his refreshing honesty can go some way to explaining his ever-growing following, with the Yorkshireman offering this brilliant walkthrough of how his post-fight celebrations would unfold if he had his hand raised on May 27:
“I’m gonna go home, I’m gonna lock the doors, I’m gonna put the fight on the TV, and I’m gonna sit and gamble for the next three months. I’m gonna have people passing me food through the window, so I don’t have to speak to anybody. I’m gonna enjoy my life for a while. Gamble, eat, watch my fight on replay and that’s about it. I still need to win the British, so it’s not the end, but it’s a major title, and I’ll have earned a break of eating and gambling and absolutely not leaving the house for a while.”
David Allen vs Lenroy Thomas comes as part of the Kell Brook vs Errol Spence Jr undercard, with fighters like Jamie Cox, George Groves and Anthony Fowler also featuring. Tickets can still be purchased via https://www.sufc.talent-sport.co.uk/PagesPublic/ProductBrowse/ProductAway.aspx, though less than 3,000 remain.