David Allen v Lucas Browne: Allen ready to shine in the spotlight

Dave Allen and Lucas Browne face off. Picture: Mark Robinson.
Dave Allen and Lucas Browne face off. Picture: Mark Robinson.

"I think everything I've promised over the years will be realised on fight night."

There will be no place to hide for David Allen as he looks to fulfil that promise in the brightest of spotlights this weekend.

The Conisbrough fighter himself will be the first to admit he has let golden opportunities to show what he is capable of slip over the past few years.

But the promise that has existed throughout, along with ever-growing popularity, has propelled Allen into the main event of a big show at London's O2 Arena.

The 27-year-old will face former WBA heavyweight champion Lucas Browne on Saturday night.

"I've been talking to the Free Press for years and from the start to various points in my career to headlining the O2, it's unbelievable," he said.

"Saturday is the biggest fight of my life.

"Nine months ago I was ready to retire after the Tony Yoka fight. Nine months later I'm headlining the O2 against a former world heavyweight champion.

"It's going to be nice. I've been involved in professional boxing for six and a half years. I've worked, I've grafted.

"I've boxed at 4pm on shows, I've been in the main event in Paris against the Olympic champion, I've been on six or seven pay per views.

"I've put a long apprenticeship in and I've not been paid massive amounts for fights I should have been.

"This is the culmination of years of hard work and ten years as a boxer all together.

"I feel like I've deserved it.

"It's a bums on seats business. I know it's a popularity thing.

"It's a chance to be the main event, put in a great performance and continue to move forward as a main event fighter."

Allen knows he may well never get another opportunity as big to push himself into the international reckoning at heavyweight.

Beating Australian Browne would set him up for fights with fellow domestic giants David Price and Dereck Chisora.

But it would also hand him a world ranking.

"A win against Browne sets me up for Price or Chisora - massive domestic fights, maybe for the British title.

"I think beating Browne puts me in the top 15 with one of the governing bodies.

"It sets me up for a big 2019. You never know where it's going to go."

The two men have seemingly been on a collision course since last July when Allen sensationally knocked out Nick Webb to reignite his career.

Beating Allen would be the start of a similar revitalisation for 40-year-old Browne, who was beaten by Dillian Whyte - a shared foe - a year ago.

Since then he has slowly attempted to fight his way back, including an unconvincing win over journeyman Kamil Sokolowski in Scotland last time out.

Allen is convinced the timing is right for him to a big name to his win sheet.

"I knew this fight would happen and I know I will beat him," he said.

"It's a massive fight, a tough fight but I know I'll beat him.

"Lucas Browne is the ideal opponent.

"He was a really good fighter at one moment in time. I don't think he's as good now but he's still dangerous for anyone in this division.

"He can punch hard, he's got good steel and experience. He should be the favourite going into the fight but he isn't.

"I think I'll be too young and fresh for him. It's come at the right time for me and a bit too late for him."

Driving Allen's confidence is the fact he will enter the ring on Saturday night in the best condition of his career.

For so long, the quality of his preparation for fights has left a lot to be desired. And it ensured there were wars when there should not have been, with Allen taking far too much punishment.

But he looks in superb condition, dropping weight and seemingly capable of taking a fight long if necessary.

However, it is not merely the test of Browne that has brought new found dedication to his career.

"I sat down over Christmas and I just thought I can't keep gambling with my health," he said.

"It'll deteriorate if I keep having fights like the Bracamonte and Yoka fights.

"I'm not getting any younger, I'd like to have kids and I'd like for them to be able to understand what their dad is saying when they grow up.

"Also, I know what I'm capable of.

"I'm not saying I can get amongst the Furys and Joshuas of this world but I know I can get into the top ten in the world if I put the work in.

"What time is better than the present. I'm 27 now, it's time to knuckle down. I've got my nut down and I've put it all in to make sure I'm as good as I can possibly be.

"I've never felt better, fitter. I feel confident.

"I always want to win but this fight I expect to win.

"I expect to knock him out and look fantastic doing so.
"We'll see whether that confidence is misplaced but I feel fantastic going into this one."​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​