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Digital Subscriptions > Boxing News > 30-Apr > AN UNLIKELY HERO


Elliot Worsell talks to heavyweight gatekeeper-cumcontender, Dave Allen, about the art of crafting a truly engrossing boxing career

EVERYBODY loves Dave Allen.

Well, almost everybody. Certainly, everybody I know who is aware of Dave Allen, has heard him interviewed, read his tweets, or seen one of his fights, loves Dave Allen. Some feel like they know him; others hope they will someday get to know him. Essentially, though, if you’ve happened upon the curious world of Dave Allen, or “The White Rhino”, or “The Doncaster De La Hoya”, or “Papi De La Liver Puncher” (his current social media handle), you’ll consider him a character tough to dislike.

Even newcomers, those previously oblivious to the cult of Dave Allen, would have settled down to watch his fight on Saturday April 20, in the middle of a scorching Easter weekend, and celebrated the body shot he used to down Lucas Browne in the third round as if it had been thrown by a relative. They will have seen what it meant to Allen, both in the euphoria he shared with team members, and in the amusing post-fight interview, and found themselves under his spell, caring about something and someone they hadn’t expected to care about earlier in the day. He will have reminded them of someone they know. He will have reminded some of themselves.

After all, we live vicariously through boxers. We always have done. We fight their fight because they are doing something most of us couldn’t comprehend doing ourselves and we admire this about them. We also feel closer to boxers than other athletes because the majority come from working-class backgrounds, a connection to the masses, and have used boxing as a vehicle to flee their struggles.

That said, some are more relatable than others and few are as relatable as Dave Allen right now. Nor, it must be pointed out, are many so accessible. At the last count, he has over 85,000 followers on Twitter (that’s more than Jarrell Miller and every one of the men touted to replace him and challenge Anthony Joshua on June 1 combined) and uses the platform better than any other boxer in Britain. Rather than a tool to simply sell himself and his fights, he uses it to connect with those eager to connect. Rather than create an illusion,he seeks to shatter it. How unusual. How refreshing.

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About Boxing News

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 DOMESTIC DUTIES – Dubois scores a stoppage, with Joyce and Gorman on the horizon 

 THE GOLDEN TICKET – Joshua’s opponent for June 1 in New York is finally announced 

 MUCH, MUCH MORE – Including a revealing interview with the cult hero, Dave Allen