Popular heavyweight Dave Allen returns to the ring after a year’s layoff when he takes part in a six rounder at Sheffield’s Ponds Forge Arena on August 27 against Italy’s Andrea Pesce, 7-13-3 (2), live on Fightzone.

The former Commonwealth Title challenger who has shared a ring with notable heavies including Dillian Whyte, David Price, Lucas Browne, Tony Yoka and Luis Ortiz currently has a decent 18-5-2 (15) ledger, and is planning a series of ‘under the radar’ fights to gauge how much more he has left in the tank.

Now also the manager of a number of fighters, Dave hasn’t given up the dream of one day winning the British Title but says he will walk away from the sport if his next few appearances leave him feeling underwhelmed.

Topping the Ponds Forge Arena card is local fighter Anthony Tomlinson. Undefeated at 13-0 (7), the 29-year-old will take on experienced Mexican, Dante Jardon, 33-6 (24), for the International Boxing Organization (IBO) Inter-Continental Welterweight Title.

Another Sheffield fighter, Kane Salvin, will defend his Central Area Super Featherweight Title on the night in a cracking match against Manchester’s Michael Gomez Jr in what promises to be a fight of the night contender.

Ahead of the show, the ‘White Rhino’ shared his thoughts on his future…

You have a huge social media presence but have logged off to concentrate on your training – how’s it going?

It’s going well, I’ve been training now for two or three months.  August 27th is just a stepping stone to where I want to be, to bigger things. Training’s going well but I’m a lot smarter with my training than I used to be.

Where do you want to get to with this ‘comeback’?

The dream is I’d love to headline the O2 Arena again. It might not be plausible and it might sound ridiculous, but at the minute it’s one fight at a time. I plan to be in boxing for the next three years and if I keep winning then I will get back to where I was before.

Would you like to fight for the British Title at some point in the future?

I’d love to fight for the British Title. Any world title aspirations went by the wayside with the David Price fight, but if the British Title became available in 18 months or two years time, then great. But I’m not coming back for titles, and if I was coming back for money then I’d have gone straight on DAZN , got paid a fortune and got beat. It’s not about the money or titles. It’s about bringing through the next generation of boxers that I’m managing, and that’s about me boxing for the next three years.

Are you getting back in the ring for yourself? Or is it more about giving your fighters an opportunity?

It’s a bit of both. I love boxing and really enjoy it; starting again at a lower level is better for me. When I was boxing at a higher level I was really unfit and stumbled into some massive fights, just turned up and did my best. I’m doing this because I want to box, I love it, and the maturity I’ve found now you’ll see a better fighter.

Boxing is a very hard sport and can be a dirty business – do you really still like it?

I love boxing more than anything in the world. It’s my passion and all I’ve known since I left school. There have been times when I haven’t enjoyed it too much but I’ve made boxing a lot harder than it needed to be. I haven’t trained, wasn’t fit, took impossible jobs – but this time I’m doing it for me.

What would you say to people who have seen the Usyk sparring video and are worried about you?

Look at David Price, he had a bad knockout against Povetkin, an awful knockout. I’ve never been off my feet. The Usyk spar, I finished the spar anyway, and it was a good shot off one of the best fighters on the planet.  Realistically, for the last few years, I’ve not really sparred at all. I’ve had a good break and am coming back at a low level to see if there’s anything left. I’ll be honest with myself, if after a few fights there’s nothing left then I’ve got more pride than to get beat up.

I’ve done like 500 rounds [of sparring] with [Anthony] Joshua, a 1000 with [Tyson] Fury, hundreds with [Joe] Joyce and Frazer Clarke. I can box, I’m not saying I’m a world champion, but I can definitely box. Now I do all the running and strength training, I put the graft in now. I used to get punched in the head and think I’d get fit doing that, it didn’t work. Now I put the hard yards in and will maybe spar a max of 20 rounds before a fight.

You’ve done some punditry work on Fightzone – how good is the platform for British boxing?

Fightzone has been good. I’ve been commentating on some of the shows and it’s given a platform to some fighters who might not have got one.  Previously, if you wasn’t with Matchroom or on BT then you couldn’t get on telly, and it was only a small pool of fighters getting the chance, when there are more than a thousand pros in the country.

Fightzone isn’t the same numbers as Sky but it’s getting bigger.  There’s been some good fights on there and there will be one or two world champions that come from Fightzone. When some of these kids get to 10-0 and they are put in together, we’re going to see some great fights.

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Photo: Sporting Captures

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