Dave Allen hospitalised after scrappy fight against Frazer Clarke on Eubank-Smith undercard
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Allen's corner pulled him out of his heavyweight bout with former Olympian Clarke at Manchester's AO Arena on Saturday night after he suffered a suspected perforated eardrum and potential nerve damage to his mouth.
He was taken to hospital as a precaution.
Clarke enjoyed the better of the exchanges throughout but neither fighter was able to make a real breakthrough and the contest was brought to an early conclusion before it truly lit fire.
"Not pretty" was Clarke’s assessment after he remained unbeaten as a professional and inflicted Allen's sixth career defeat.
"All credit to Dave. He's a tough man, I knew he would be."
Clarke was deducted two points for low-blows in the sixth as the boxing match turned more and more into a scrap.
On the face of it that suited Conisbrough’s Allen more than his opponent, a world-class amateur who won a bronze medal at the Tokyo Games.
"I'm a clean fighter," insisted Clarke, who was repeatedly reprimanded and at times fell victim to Allen's ringcraft.
"If I strayed low in the heat of battle then I apologise.
"With him being an experienced fighter and with his corner's experience they tried to manipulate the referee."
Allen's corner felt he emerged with some credibility after holding his own in his first real test since David Price in 2019, with head trainer Jamie Moore telling The Free Press: "He was getting there."
Clarke suggested Allen wanted a rematch after the fight was cut short.
"He will be making a joke about it later on his Instagram, he's clever.
"He won't be getting a rematch and I'll be moving on."
Asked what could be next for 31-year-old Allen, Moore said: "It's for him to decide and he's also got to think about what's at home (family), what's most important."
Allen drew huge cheers from the crowd on his ring walk and appeared to be steadily growing into the contest, which at times was a war of attrition.
Referee Mark Lyson was forced to separate the fighters on multiple occasions but Allen was able to land shots on Clarke when the pair weren't clinching, with the latter suffering a small cut to his eye.