Allen v Browne, Overcoming Yourself

O2 arena, Saturday fight night, under the backdrop of last chance saloon. With the heart jerking fields of gold bellowing out across the arena and the MIND charity parading on his shorts, Dave Allen embarked on his ring walk knowing anything other than a win would mean top level boxing would evade him for years to come.

Waiting in the ring, a former heavyweight world champion Lucas Browne, who is most well-known for knocking out Ruslan Chagaev.

Scale back to 2016 when Browne got the win against Chagaev and Allen had just defeated Jason Gavern, a true gatekeeper of the heavyweight division. RTD in the 4th matched the result of Deontay Wilder 2 years earlier. This echoed a certain potential for Dave Allen. However, in the same year for the WBC international title Allen was defeated by Dillian Whyte. Luiz Ortiz also proved a fight to far.

However, prior to the Whyte fight the fact Allen made it in the ring at all should be regarded as a victory. Various issues from depression to a gambling addiction which at different points left Allen at 22st and also an attempt at his own life. The Ortiz fight taken at only 3 weeks notice due to the financial position he found himself in.

Fast forward to 2018 and Allen’s problems seemed to have not subsided. Taking an away journey to Paris with only 1 spar to face an Olympic gold medallist whilst tackling obesity, then to be stopped in the 10th round. Taking into account the quality of the opposition, the performance was one of grit and guts. On the train home, topless, Allen recalls the moment he decided to retire from the sport. However, thankfully, a decision Allen decided to renege on as 3 wins later seen him headline the O2.

The build-up to the fight was pleasant to say the least. Both proclaimed “fighting men” agreed to share the winner’s takeaway. Allen for Five Guys and Browne for Mcdonalds. However, despite talks of takeaways the pair came into the ring in far better shape than seen previous. Both sporting abs, a far cry from the Browne that came in against Whyte and the Allen that boxed Yoka.

The only concern lingering over the fight was one of a past haunt for Browne and the biggest problem facing boxing today, performance enhancing drugs (PEDs). Allen claimed in fight week that he had not been tested for the fight which we can only assume means Browne was not tested also. With Browne’s previous conviction it left an unyielding doubt in the air.

Demons of the past were certainly forgotten as the Dave Allen entered the ring. He paused for a brief second to look at the crowd before he climbed the rope, almost in bewilderment that despite past issues, thousands had turned out to see him as the main event.

The opening round was cagey, part way through the round Browne took the centre of the ring and started dictating Allen behind the jab. As the bell rang at the end of the first the excitement of the fight prior to the bell had fell back into a realisation that this was a huge fight for both men.

Between round 1 and 2 Allen was stood receiving orders and despite the tention in the crowd he calmly claimed “it’ll come”.

However, as the second round commenced Browne instantly took back the centre of the ring and got behind his jab. Browne was starting to land the uppercut with ease, it become apparent Allen was not moving his head as much as he should, which was a criticism in his loss against Lenroy Thomas. Just as it was starting to look like Allen was being vanquished by the occasion, he started to land back a couple of shots just to break Browne’s rhythm.

Touch of gloves between the two men ended round 2. Scorecards reading 2 to Browne.

Cornermen of Browne making it clear that he is to look for the left hook in round 3. As the round commences the crowd start to increase in volume, chants of there’s only one Dave Allen ring around the arena, a freakish chant considering he lost the first 2 rounds so comfortably.

Round 3 though starting to swing, Allen pushed Browne back with right hand over the top which appeared to damage the nose of Browne. The pain inflicted by the blow seemed to spur on Browne. Prompted into action, Browne over lunged with a right hand leaving a gaping orifice under the elbow which Allen exposed with a clinical left hand.

With the image of blood scattering from Browne’s nose with every gasp of air he tries to inhale, referee Marcus McDonnell ends the bout. Allen had beaten an ex world champion in 3 rounds. A far cry from the man who was sat on that train back from Paris with his mind set on retirement.

Written by Karl, The Straight Hitter

Twitter @hitterstraight

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