Dave Allen returns to the ring this month to mount a serious comeback on the domestic heavyweight scene.
The fan-favourite fighter will face an as yet unnamed opponent in Sheffield on February 18 before looking towards bigger nights under the lights – and he’s confident he can make his mark.
‘The White Rhino’ – also known as ‘The Doncaster De La Hoya’ – hung up the gloves in November 2020, citing a loss of love for the sport as the driving reason.
It also came after a particularly brutal sparring session with now-heavyweight champion, Oleksandr Usyk, in which Allen found himself concussed. He has boxed three times since in much lower level affairs.
Allen’s return is fuelled by a newfound passion for boxing. He told Seconds Out that he was as confident as ever in his skills – something he thinks his sparring partners will confirm – but that mental strength was a different matter.
“I think I can box as good as any heavyweight on the planet, to be honest, and if you asked [Tyson] Fury and [Oleksandr] Usyk, they would say exactly the same thing.
They would say I am a brilliant boxer. But, finding that maturity and that mental strength and the capacity to hold myself together, round after round, under pressure, is a different question.”
Fans have witnessed occasions become too much for Allen – his stoppage loss to David Price in 2019 a prime example. Discipline, it seems, will be the biggest obstacle to overcome on his return.
He went on to talk about his goals for the comeback.
“I think I can be involved in some big fights, this year and next, my plan is to box for the next three or four years because I love it. There is nothing I love more.
I don’t think I’m going to be a world champion, I think I can challenge for domestic honours, but I am going to box, it’s what I love to do and people can say what they want. I will win some and lose some in the next couple of years, that is how it is going to be, but I just want to enjoy it and send my child to the best school that I can.”
Allen is expected to win his comeback bout without incident and move onto a more well-known name. What happens then will be down to him.