The ‘White Rhino’ Dave Allen (17-5-2, 14KOs) has admitted to feeling fearful ahead of his ring return on February 8 after being stretchered out of the O2 Arena in his last fight last July after he was forced to retire on his stool against an on-form David Price (25-6, 20KOs).
The 27-year-old fan-favourite from Conisbrough will appear on the Kell Brook vs Mark DeLuca undercard at the FlyDSA Arena in Sheffield on the 39th day of the year.
The heavyweight’s opponent and number of rounds scheduled is yet to be confirmed.
“After the Price fight there is a bit of trepidation,” Allen told talkSPORT.com just three weeks out from fight night, “I’m not gonna lie, there’s a bit of fear.
“I think about it and my chest gets going a little bit, I was never like that before. I just hope it brings out the best in me.
“I box like I’m scared, that’s how I’ve been boxing since the Price fight, I’ve been sparring recently like that and I’m a lot better for it.
“I’m a small heavyweight. I need to rely on my movement, my reflexes, which are outstanding in the gym.
“So, I’m gonna try that approach because I’ve tried all others and they’ve failed.”
Despite winning a British title eliminator against then-unbeaten Nick Webb – 12-0 at the time – with a devastating fourth-round KO, the witty warrior, who engages with boxing fans regularly on social media, chased down money fights in favour of title opportunities.
He headlined the O2 Arena in a lucrative fight with former WBA world champion Lucas Browne (28-1) and stopped him in just the third round with a well-timed body blow.
His four-fight winning streak between July 2018 and July 2019 was ended by Liverpudlian Price and he hasn’t been back in the ring since.
When he does return, not only his approach to fighting would have changed, but his ambitions too.
Allen is now on the hunt for the British heavyweight title.
“Let’s get the British heavyweight title won and everything else will be a bonus from there.”
The Lord Lonsdale belt is currently in the possession of Daniel Dubois (14-0, 13KOs), but the man with nine titles from 14 fights will not likely hold on to the presigious title for long as he prepares for bigger honours this year.
“It’s just the goal full stop,” Allen asserted. “To be the British heavyweight champion would fill my grandad and my dad with such pride.
“The British title is just the be-all and end-all. It always has been. It’s very winnable I believe, when Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce move on, I think I must be near the top of the tree.
“I do believe we’ll get it won this year, yeah.”
Anything the likeable fighter does from here will be with his old amateur trainer as former coach Darren Barker had to put his London gym and Sky Sports commitments ahead of training Allen for any more fights.
If Dubois and Joyce do move on from British level, then potential fights with Ricky Hatton-trained Nathan Gorman (16-1) as well as a rematch with the newest Ultimate Boxxer winner Nick Webb (16-2) would make perfect sense.