Dave Allen’s big stage ring return ended with a perforated ear drum in the sixth courtesy of undefeated Frazer Clarke.
‘The White Rhino’ had a handful of four-rounders following a brief retirement in 2020, but began dedicating more time to the sport this year in the hope of a big domestic scrap.
That came in the form of up and comer Clarke, who is now 8-0 as a pro following Olympic Bronze success.
Clarke clearly controlled the action in a laboured affair and never looked near to bother, despite Allen’s attempts to make it scrappy and awkward.
Fan-favourite Allen, 31, released a well-pitched statement making no excuse for the performance.
“So after last night I’ve had some to think, first of all my performance was poor, fighting an Olympic medalist after 4 years pretty much of inactivity was never going to be easy but I am hugely disappointed with myself, my plan was to spoil and make it ugly early but when the time came to up the pace I just couldn’t find it in myself and I was fit and have no excuses I just didn’t do very well and it happens but very disappointing.”
A major talking point was Clarkes work to the body, for which he was warned and deducted two points after the referee ruled various low blows.
“The low blows were low but that’s the game I have no problem with what happened there I would have hated to win by disqualification as I was second best, the end of the fight was a mixture of frustration and worry with my ear and mouth in all honesty I had not won a round and I had nothing left to give.”
The 21-6 fighter was pulled by his trainer Jame Moore at the end of the sixth, clearly struggling with an injury to his jaw. It’s a decision he appreciates, believing seeing out the rest of the fight would spell immediate retirement.
Regardless, some pundits and ex-fighters would like to see the gloves hung up. It’s something Allen – who had the strong backing of the Manchester crowd – is seemingly against.
“Another 4 rounds of punishment last night would have see my career over, I’m a father and a coach and I see myself as I see my boys, I live to fight another day and more importantly I go home in one piece, I am disappointed but I trained hard and fought to the best of my abilities and I just wasn’t good enough and I will just have to live with that and pick things up in a few weeks and decide on my next moves.”
It’s unclear where Allen goes next should he want to fight on, having now lost clearly at domestic level.