By Charles Brun: A heavyweight clash between David Price (24-6, 19 KOs) and Dave Allen (17-4-2, 14 KOs) has been added to the July 20th card headlined by Dillian Whyte vs. Oscar Rivas on Sky Box Office PPV at the O2 Arena in London, England.
This is a big test for Allen. He’s failed in the past when he’s stepped it up against guys that have size and that can bang. Price has the kind of power and size that could cause Allen issues.
A win over Pricey could see Allen being given a top 10 ranking by one of the sanctioning bodies. Allen vs. Price isn’t a pay-per-view worthy fight, but it’s an interesting fight. It’s a fight that promises a knockout. You just don’t know which of the two will get stopped. Allen has a good chin, but he’s never faced anyone with the kind of power that Price possesses.
Luis Ortiz and Tony Yoka both knocked out Allen, but it took them a lot of rounds before they finally got him out of there. Yoka knocked Allen out in the 10th round, while Ortiz stopped in the 7th. Neither of those fighters seemed to be in a hurry to KO Allen. You can bet that Price will be looking to knockout Allen early in their fight, because the longer the match lasts the more likely the the big Liverpool native will run out of gas and get stopped himself.
Price, 35, vs. Allen is a domestic level showdown between two popular heavyweights from the UK. Neither of them have much of a following outside of the UK, and neither of them are heading world title honors. This fight is strictly a match for domestic consumption.
This fight is an important one for the 27-year-old Allen. He’s well liked by his promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing, and he wants to put him in bigger fights. But for Hearn to be able to do that, Allen has got to beat Price and keep winning. If Allen can pass enough of these little tests that Hearn is presenting to him, he could eventually get a title shot against IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. Hearn promotes him as well, but he’ll need for Allen to earn the fight by winning and getting a top 15 ranking. If Hearn were to let Joshua defend against Allen right now, he would be ridiculed by the boxing public.
Allen is coming off of a third round knockout win over 40-year-old former WBA World heavyweight champion Lucas “Big Daddy” Browne on April 20 at the O2 Arena. Allen hit Browne with a left to the body in the third round that sent the Australian down for the 10 count. It was a good win for Allen, but he was facing the perfect opponent in the passed his prime Big Daddy for him to get the victory. The 6’8″ Price is a lot more dangerous than Browne, because he’s huge, powerful and capable of ending a fight with a single punch in the first four rounds. If Allen can make it passed the 4th round against Price, then he’ll have a good chance of winning.
A fight like this would have been unthinkable five years ago when Price was still seen as a viable talent, but a lot has changed in recent years. Price has aged, and been knocked out by Christian Hammer, Erkan Teper, Alexander Povetkin and Sergey Kuzmin. At the same time, Pricey’s stamina, which was never good to begin with, has gone steadily downhill to the point where he’s now more of a four-round fighter at this point. After the four round mark, Price gasses and is at risk of being knocked out even by fringe level heavyweights like Kuzmin and Hammer. Those are not great heavyweights, but they were able to advantage of Price’s poor stamina to beat him.
“This is the fight that I’ve wanted for years,” said Allen. “I wanted it three years ago but it probably wasn’t the right fight for me at the time. Now it’s the right time for me and it’s the biggest domestic fight out there. There may be other fighters out there that are better than us but I think me and Pricey have two of the biggest fanbases in the UK.”
Allen seems to think he’s going to win this fight. A lot of boxing fans believe he can win as well. It’s a hard fight to predict. Price’s pedigree is way beyond anything a blue collar heavyweight like Allen could ever dream of. Price is a 2008 Olympian, who was pegged for big things when he turned pro in 2009. Up until 2012, Price was seen by many as a future heavyweight world champion. His promoter made the mistake of rushing Price by matching him against seasoned pro Tony Thompson in 2012, and he was knocked out in consecutive fights. Price seemed to lose his self confidence from those defeats, and his career hasn’t been the same. Never the less, Price is still talented, dangerous and huge. Price’s major flaws is his poor stamina and his punch resistance, which makes him beatable even limited heavyweights. Allen is clearly limited.
Price defeated Kash Ali by a fifth round disqualification win last month on March 30th at the Echo Arena in Liverpool. Ali bit Price on the midsection in the fifth round after throwing him to the canvas. Price had hurt Ali with a big uppercut moments before. Instead of clinching to ride out the round, Ali tackled Price and bit him. It was a strange move on Ali’s part, because he had Price hurt moments before he took him to the floor. The chances are that Ali might have knocked Price out if the round had continued on.
Allen has been beaten in the past by Tony Yoka, Dillian Whyte, Lenroy Thomas and Luis “King Kong” Ortiz. Allen’s promoter Hearn hasn’t done him any favors by throwing him in with more polished guys early in his career. Allen was thrown to the wolves by being fed to Whyte, Thomas, Yoka and Ortiz. Surprisingly, Allen has turned things around recently in winning his last four fights against Nick Webb, Samir Nebo, Ariel Esteban Bracamonte and Browne. Obviously, the match-making has gotten a little better for Allen. If he was still being put in with guys like Whyte, Ortiz, Yoka and Thomas, there’s a very good chance that he would still be losing.
If Price loses this fight, he might need to think about retiring from boxing. Losing to Kuzmin and Povetkin is one thing, but getting beaten by a non-contender like Allen would be a big hint that it’s time for Price to walk away. The thing is, Price has a chance of working his way to a world title shot too if he can keep winning long enough to earn a top 10 ranking. But his last performance against Kash would seem to indicate that he’s not going to be able to get the big fights that he wants. Price likely will run out of gas against Allen and wind up getting stopped by him. There are certain heavyweight that would make Allen look bad, but Price isn’t one of them. His stamina and chin will be his undoing in this fight. The best strategy for Price would be to come out guns blazing in the first round and look to take Allen out while he’s still fresh. If the fight goes more than a handful of rounds, Allen will likely catch Price with a big shot and knock him out.