Fan-favourite heavyweight, Dave Allen, made his return to the professional game with a first round TKO against Michael Bassett in Malta.
The man known as ‘The White Rhino’ or ‘Doncaster De La Hoya’ hung up the gloves in November 2020 at the age of just 28 after losing the desire ‘to get punched.’ It came after a particularly brutal sparring session with world heavyweight champion, Oleksandr Usyk.
After a few four-rounders at a much lower level and a year lay-off, Allen announced that he would be mounting a serious comeback on the heavyweight scene, beginning with a warm-up in February.
Last-minute opponent changes meant he couldn’t fight in Sheffield as planned, but landed on a Fightzone card in Malta against Bassett, now 2-9.
Allen (21-5-2) – who weighed in at 260lb – stormed out of the gates and landed two big overhands before working Bassett’s body and landing the right again. The towel came in shortly after he was calling for the referee to save his opponent and call it.
In the aftermath, he praised Bassett and revealed that he stopped throwing punches when he felt that the bout was won due to a conversation they had that day.
“Great to meet Mike Bassett this week, he came to Malta with hopes of beating me and changing his and his family’s life, a brave man been all over Europe fighting the very best prospects. Last night wasn’t his night but his bravery and toughness not in doubt.
People asking why I never threw a punch after Michael was hurt. Earlier on fight day me and Mike had a conversation about how great it is being a dad and we couldn’t wait to get home to our daughters and I wasn’t risking causing him any possible damage and today we’re both winners – we get to see our babies”
Whilst it’s good to see the Doncaster fighter back, the 20 seconds of action against a last minute opponent who’s not on the level of previous Allen conquests tells fans little about what level he’s ready to re-enter the division at.
With that fight out of the way, he’ll now look towards more meaningful contests – a challenge for Fabio Wardley’s British title a big potential.