The last few months of David “The White Rhino” Allen’s career has maintained it usual feel of turbulence. After missing out on the Commonwealth title against Lenroy Thomas in May 2017, Allen had his chance at vengeance as he was due to rematch Lenroy Thomas on the Joshua v Takam bill in Cardiff at the end of last year. Like many other fights on the card, Allen’s plans got thrown into turmoil.
“Yeah the thing in Cardiff! We run out of time for me to fight and also my back was really bad. But I was ready to fight, I was gloved up from quarter to five. I was waiting for a fight to go early, which is unusual to do on these shows, but on that show it didn’t. Eventually Warming up and down took it’s toll and I got an injury, but there wasn’t enough time to fight anyway. Lenroy (Thomas) canceling was a bit of a piss take, we didn’t even know he was out until the Tuesday of fight week! But there we go.”
There was some speculation surrounding Dave’s pull out, as he was still due to take part on the show, however Allen’s injuries were much worse than intentionally feared.
“I had a bulging disc in my back, it was really painful actually! I couldn’t train or stand up or do anything for four weeks. People thought it was a bullshit excuse for Eddie (Hearn) to say why I was out of the show, but I couldn’t move for 4 weeks and I couldn’t train for eight weeks! But it has held up in camp, however there are a lot of things I haven’t been able to do, like weights and certain exercises. But in terms of boxing and running it has been no hindrance what so ever.”
Despite the pull outs over the past year (a theme that has maintained throughout The White Rhino’s career), Allen has been getting some real consistency within his back room staff, it appearing Dave Allen has finally of settled on a trainer; age old friend Mick Marsden.
“Yeah life is sound mate! Life is always good when I have a fight coming up, I’m busy, I’m fighting, I’m happy you know. Routines are key for a man like me!”
“Yeah, I’m still working with Mick (Marsden), he’s training me and managing me still. We still have an uncle and nephew type relationship going on. We getting along and training is going really well, things have gone as well as it ever has. We are just planning everything together you know. I’m not saying I am a boxing expert, but it’s my career and I want have a say in what is going off. That’s why it works so well because we get on in a personal basis as well as a professional one.”
“I’ve known Mick Marsden for 6 years, when I first started sparring Danny Price, the old GB Heavyweight who signed with Maloney. Then I was with Kev Sanders for three fights, but I left him through no fault of my own! I then went back to Mick for three fights. It was then put on me that I had to go train with Peter Fury, which I wasn’t upset about, it was a great experience and I thoroughly enjoyed my time there. I then went back to Mick just to do a bit of training as I couldn’t fight at that point as I had a contract dispute, being laid off for 15 months. Stefy Bull then came to me and said ‘we can get you out in Doncaster on a regular basis’ so it made sense (at the time), but that ended to! I’m back with Mick now and I’ve matured (pauses). It wouldn’t of mattered who would of trained me anyway back then, it wouldn’t of made a difference. At the time I just did what ever I wanted anyway!”
As Dave Allen gets set to challenge Lenroy Thomas for the Heavyweight Commonwealth title on the Kell Brook v Sergey Rabchenko under-card, Eddie Hearn told Dave Allen in a press conference recently “This is your last chance!”. However, The White Rhino had a very different outlook on his own career.
“No, I don’t feel the same way at all! I’ll box the next 10 to 15 years of my life regardless if I get beat or not by Lenroy (Thomas). If I don’t box on Matchroom shows, I’ll box on other shows, I don’t care. If I don’t beat Lenroy this time, then I’m just not good enough, do you know what I mean? I am still pretty inexperienced and I got a long way to go before I am at my best, but I’ll continue to box. I will definitely win the British and Commonwealth titles, whether it be in three weeks time, which I genuinely believe I will! Or whether it be 5 or 10 years down the line, it will happen! I will not be stopping boxing for the very foreseeable future, I plan on being a professional prize fighter at 35/40 years old. If that’s at the highest level, then great! But if it’s not, then so be it.”
In his usual jovial fashion, Allen described to me his his opinions on the upcoming rematch against the Jamaican Heavyweight.
“I need to fucking win it you divvy! That would be a good start! I could possibly be as much as a stone and a half lighter than in the first fight and people are going to be in for a big surprise on the night, because people think I am just a tough kid. But I am not, as you well know! I got more skills and tricks than a bag of something magical and I think Lenroy is going to be very surprised with my speed. I am very excited.”
At 25 years old, it’s fair to say the young heavyweight is fighting beyond his years in many respects. But keen to shake the ‘Brawler’ tag, Allen’s words indicate that we could finally see what he is really capable of as a boxer on March 3rd.
By Adam Noble-Forcey