Danny Flexen discusses the next moves for both David Price and his recent victim, Dave Allen
It is a strange situation when the betting favourite loses clearly but no one is calling it an upset. That however has been the reaction to the dominant win posted by giant Olympic medallist and heavyweight veteran David Price over charismatic everyman Dave Allen, this past Saturday at the O2. While plenty of people are proving to be wise only after the event, I cannot recall too many eyebrows being raised when Allen was installed as the favourite in what was widely considered, at best, a 50-50 clash. As it transpired, Price proved he was operating on a different level, controlling Allen from the start and never allowing the likeable Doncaster man to get started. A top amateur who has mixed at a high level as a pro, albeit in losing efforts, Liverpool’s Price reignited his career while Allen has some thinking to do. So, we discuss, what is next for both men?
Now on a winning run of three, against a gradually increasing level of opposition, Price has seemingly put himself in line for a big fight. That said, he did insist per-fight that Allen was domestic level at best so perhaps the victory, allied to his previous reign as the British champion, only makes David a serious player at home. Luckily for him, there are marquee fights to be made with fellow Brits, including Daniel Dubois (not what Price needs right now), Hughie Fury and Dereck Chisora. Considering how long both have been around and how many world-level opponents they have fought, it is remarkable Price and Chisora have never met. The pair have shared explosive sparring sessions in the past and I for one would like to see Price’s long-range skills and numbing power pitted against Chisora’s pressure-fighting and underrated dig. However, the Finchley man seems set on ex-WBO king Joseph Parker next, so perhaps Price could look at a fringe world-level operator like Bryant Jennings, Carlos Takam or Alexander Dimitrenko. The last thing I want is for him to be served up to Oleksandr Usyk or someone similar.
From two fights away from Anthony Joshua, Allen is now perhaps the same number of bouts from a rematch with Nick Webb. It’s not so much that he lost to Price – no shame there – but the one-sided manner of the victory and that he appeared discouraged so early on. He took a clinical beating in truth and never seemed to vary his own strategy to change things. The pounding he sustained saw Allen suffer an eye injury and get taken to hospital, as a precaution. Promoter Eddie Hearn said yesterday that he felt Allen and trainer Darren Barker worked on the right things in training but the fighter failed miserably to implement them on the night. If true – that Allen did not perform, rather than could not perform at this level – he may still have a future in the upper echelons of the sport, if Barker sticks around, given Dave is only 27, no age for a heavyweight. The flip side to that coin is the worrying amount of punches Allen has already taken from huge men and the potential long-term effect of further heavy blows, weighed against the struggle the Doncaster man may experience without boxing to give him direction and discipline. It is also a question of motivation – Allen has enjoyed every second of this recent ride, headline a show at the O2, fighting regularly on Sky Box Office and making ridiculous money for a man of his status. No one begrudges him a single penny of it but, now financially comfortable, does he have the inclination and desire to rebuild at a lower level, to work his way back up to where he was? That is the key to his next move and one only he can answer.