The Tale Of Two Davids: Price And Allen Prepare To Lock Horns

The Tale Of Two Davids: Price And Allen Prepare To Lock Horns
10:35, 19 Jul 2019

Liverpool's David Price and Dave "White Rhino" Allen lock horns on Saturday night in a hotly anticipated domestic dust-up. The latest instalment of their turbulent careers serves as chief support to Dillian Whyte's showdown with unbeaten Oscar Rivas at London's O2 Arena. 

Price, 36, was once tipped for superstardom after blowing away Britain's heavyweight scene, including former European champion Audley Harrison. He was the humble, likeable Scouser with an Olympic Bronze medal around his neck, dynamite in his fists, and the world at his feet. 

But as Price stepped up in competition he found his level. Time and again, we watched through the gaps in our fingers as he was left crumpled on the canvas.  The Liverpudlian's chin and stamina exposed by B-level operators.  Five years after exploding onto our screens, the Olympian lurched from one damaging defeat to another. His two opponents that were later popped for performance-enhancing drugs undoubtedly did him no favours. 

The man from Liverpool nearly had his moment in the sun last year, sending Alexander Povetkin sprawling across the ring with a full-blooded left hook. Minutes later Povetkin knocked Price out on his feet; swaying like a stunned character in a video game, the Russian teed off on our once-great hope, smashing his spindly frame into the canvas. 

Heading into his showdown with Allen, Price has stitched together a couple of wins. One arguably premature stoppage against Tom Little, and then one disqualification after opponent Kash Ali bit Price, leaving savage marks on his stomach.  In both match-ups, the Scouser was beginning to look exhausted, but the Olympic Bronze medallist doesn't expect his long-standing stamina problem to be an issue this time around.

"I think Dave Allen would have had a better chance of beating me back when I was almost 20 stone when I originally was going to fight him back in 2016.

"I wasn't doing any strength and conditioning training back then. I was only training once a day. I think that would have been his best chance of getting to me.

"Now I have got everything spot on and he's been in a couple of hard fights himself since then. I think he is the one that's there for the taking," Price said. 

The mild-mannered monster ended our encounter at Liverpool's Rotunda ABC by briefly slipping his game-face on. With a steely look in his eyes, he said: "I will knock out Dave Allen within four rounds."     

Dave Allen showed a lot of promise as an amateur, racing to ten straight victories. He then turned his back on the much-heralded GB set-up, choosing to turn professional at age 20 instead. 

In 2012, Allen's apprenticeship began, fighting six rounders against limited imports brought over to give him rounds.  But as he rose through the ranks his motivation and mental state deteriorated, fighting to pay off spiralling debts in poor physical condition. 

From the outside looking in on his increasingly popular social media presence, the funny, straight-talking, relatable lad from Donny showed few signs of his demons. Around the same time as Price's fall from grace, Allen was struggling mentally. He told The Sun: "I didn't leave the house for six weeks I was in a bad place - I was 22 stone. I didn't change my clothes for six weeks, I didn't wash." 

Allen, rallied by friends and family, including the late great Brendan Ingle, sought professional help.  He slowly dragged himself back to the gym, and in the summer of 2018, one wild overhand right changed the trajectory of his career.  After stalking the unbeaten Nick Webb for four rounds, Allen detonated on his countryman's chin.  He shuffled to the neutral corner with an incredulous look on his face as his opponent was counted out. 

The Doncaster man has since put together a four-fight winning streak, including the scalp of former WBA king Lucas Browne. In one year, Allen has transformed himself from durable opponent to live contender. Heading into Saturday night, the 27-year-old looks to be motivated, fit, and mentally on point under new trainer Darren Barker. 

There's a lot at stake for both Davids this weekend as they collide in a contest that could define their careers. How much has Price got left? How far can Allen go? 

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