David Price forces a corner retirement on a dominated and severely cut Dave Allen, as the Liverpudlian looks the best he has in some time
For many people, especially in the UK, the ‘anything-could-happen’ heavyweight chief support clash between resurgent everyman Dave Allen and Olympic medallist and giant flawed puncher David Price had begun to overshadow the main event at the O2.
The general consensus was that either huge hitter Price, a former British champion found wanting more than once at world level, would knock Allen out early or the durable Doncaster man, on a good run of form and finally taking the sport seriously under trainer Darren Barker, would stop the Liverpudlian as he characteristically faded, in the second half of their 12-rounder. As it transpired, even the consensus can be wrong, as Price dominated throughout and forced a corner retirement at the end of round 10, only the second time in his decade-long pro career he has reached the end of the 10th session.
Price had a five-inch height advantage and seven inches in reach, the latter coming in useful early on as he landed long jabs through the guard. Allen advanced patiently, moving his head and, while not throwing much, he was characteristically forcing Price to work with his offensive foot movement. Price was banking rounds, Allen investing in the later stages of the contest. A logical plan but one that failed on this occasion.
Allen began to get inside more from the fourth, Price starting to fight with his mouth open in the same round. Allen knocked the bigger man’s gumshield out in the next. Price however remained composed, showing great handspeed and uppercuts from range, and clinching up close when necessary. Price looked tired when he returned to his corner after round six, while Allen stood during the interval, perhaps seeking a psychological advantage.
Price landed a tasty right uppercut in the seventh but, to his credit, never became greedy, boxing a very disciplined fight. Allen, meanwhile, kept ploughing forward but increasingly lacked ideas. The badly cut right eye he sustained in the eighth did not help his cause and Price was able to almost cruise to the slightly premature finish.
Price had said in the build-up that Allen was no more than domestic level and, harsh as it may sound, that is how he made it look throughout most of their battle. He was well worth the victory and now, like Dereck Chisora who also won on the card, albeit in quicker order, he will believe he warrants a major fight next.
Allen was taken to hospital after the finish, reportedly as a precaution.