Danny Flexen looks at a potential Daniel Dubois vs Dave Allen fight and wonders if this bout would benefit either boxer
It’s always fun for fans when elements of fight negotiations become public, especially if there is discord. When Queensberry Promotions made two offers, reasonable in their view, to Dave Allen to fight their prized heavyweight Daniel Dubois in December, they may not have been expecting a scathing response from the Doncaster cult hero although, given the key to his celebrity, they should not have been surprised that the retort came via social media. Calling their initial bid “horrendously low” Allen further indicated he would prefer the showdown with the British and Commonwealth champion in March.
Whenever this potential clash takes place, if it ever happens, I was moved to consider whether this is the right fight for either man.
Is it right for Daniel Dubois?
You can see why Queensberry pursued Dave Allen. Based on the respective skill-sets and recent form, they will believe Dubois starts a clear favourite but he has much to gain from an impressive victory over the Yorkshireman. Thanks to his string of appearances on big Sky Sports shows and likeable social media presence, promotional free agent Allen boasts a level of fame and popularity rather disproportionate to his achievements thus far. This is why he can come back from a one-sided defeat to David Price in July and, should he want to, go straight back into a big fight. Dubois looks the better fighter and has won respected titles but, right now, he can only dream of Allen’s charisma and notoriety. There is also the ‘measuring stick’ elements in that Allen has never been genuinely knocked out and extended a world-level heavyweights in Dillian Whyte the full 10 rounds. Should Dubois KO Allen it immediately suggests him as one of the world’s hardest punchers. On the flip side, “Dynamite” could lose out by the same logic. If Allen, coming off the Price drubbing, is even able to give Dubois problems and/or take him the distance, it would put the 22-year-old’s plans for world domination very much in perspective. Even if he were to win in dominant fashion, it could be classed as something of a cherry-pick given the punishment Allen took against Price and his emotional reaction that followed. Outside the ring, this is a win for Dubois (as it boosts his profile and standing), but inside the ropes it could be a lose-lose.
Verdict: Yes and no.
Is it right for Dave Allen?
The positives for the much-loved “Donny De La Hoya” are clear. Aside from the financial benefits – despite Allen’s claims regarding the first offer Seconds Out knows the amount and, while probably not what Dave would expect, “horrendously low” is harsh – a Dubois fight presents Allen with a huge opportunity. Not only would he win the British and Commonwealth belts he has coveted for some time but, with one victory, Allen would regain all the ground lost against Price and grab more besides. Cooking the golden goose would put Allen right back on the fringes of world level, plus perhaps he needs this level of threat to motivate him to get into the physical shape he has managed to achieve recently. The level of threat is high however, and a fight with a fresh, unbeaten, confident banger on a great run of form may be the last thing Allen needs right now. Dave is coming off a demoralising defeat and, soon after, took a social media break, amid speculation he may retire from the sport. It was inevitable he would return to both, but surely the best course of action for Allen right now is to resist the temptation of dangerous, albeit lucrative fixtures and rebuild in a number of contests in which he is the consensus favourite. This is the route Price has taken since back-to-back losses last year and he isn’t doing so badly. It is also the traditional road back for a normal heavyweight contender. Allen is still only 27, has talent and a name; perhaps he needs to be a better friend to himself.