The David Allen experience ground to a shuddering halt at the O2 on Saturday night after the popular social media star and heavyweight contender was hammered into a 10th-round retirement defeat by David Price. “The White Rhino” (17-5-2, 14 KOs) was woefully outgunned from the get-go and failed to make any inroads into the fight.
Curiously, he was seen as a favourite by many going in yet I never saw it that way. Price (25-6, 20 KOs) may have confidence issues — six defeats, two by brutal knockout, can do that to you — yet if Allen had been served up to the 6’ 8’’ Liverpudlian during his British title reign you would have expected it to end early and brutally.
This version of Price did it in a much more methodical, patient way and confounded those who believed that as long as Allen stayed on his feet the former Olympian would gas and collapse. That notion fails to take into account the fact that the men who have defeated Price either broke him down or landed flush, heavy shots, which Allen failed to do.
After the fight, Dereck Chisora alleged that Allen had spent the previous night in a bar. Chisora claims that he was out until 2am, a few fans put it closer to midnight. Either way, and despite Allen being teetotal, you have to ask if hanging out with members of the media the night before a big fight is a wise career move. If it is true, the 27-year-old needs to have a look at the people around him and honestly ask himself if they all have his best interest at heart.
Allen may argue that he has done it before, perhaps, or that he was not drinking and it is how he unwinds, but the proof is in the drubbing and he clearly expected Price to fold after three. So did the Sky crew. They seemed to be equally certain that Price would keel over once his tank emptied and they were firmly behind Allen from the first bell.
Once the dust settled, Allen hinted at retirement on Twitter then also teased a comeback, indicating to anyone who follows him that now is not the time to make such a big decision. Price used the win as a chance to verbally give it to his critics, and there have been many of them, during an interview with iFL. “Fuck you!” stated the usually mild-mannered heavyweight when asked if he had a message for his detractors.
At 36 and severely battle-hardened, Price has to pick his next fight with some caution. A showdown with Chisora, who hammered Artur Szpilka in two on the same show, would be tremendous fun.
Dillian Whyte (26-1, 18 KOs) topped the bill and was a deserved winner against Oscar Rivas (26-1, 18 early) in a fight that was much closer than the commentary would have you believe, especially after Whyte suffered a knockdown in round nine before running out a 115-112 (twice), 116-111 winner.
“The Body Snatcher” was previously the WBC’s number one contender rather than their mandatory challenger, and that does make a difference when considering his long wait for “his shot”, yet he believes that Saturday’s win has not brought him any closer to a title fight against Deontay Wilder despite the WBC putting the interim title on the line and finally naming him as their mandatory challenger.
“I’m the mandatory challenger now but I’ve already been the number one contender for over 600 days,” he said. “Maybe being mandatory means I have to wait another 600 days? Who knows what will happen. I will fight again in November or December and then we’ll see what happens.”
The 31-year-old also stressed that he needs to fight as often as he can in order to make up for his short amateur career. “These guys have had hundreds of amateur fights, I had seven,” he said. “We want to fight again in November. We’re going to talk to Eddie [Hearn] and see what happens.”
The WBC have told Whyte he will get his shot by the end of May 2020. This means that Deontay Wilder has a clear path to rematch Luis Ortiz then Tyson Fury before being obligated to meet Whyte — and you can guarantee that the May date will turn out to be a moveable feast. The biggest challenge facing the Brixton-based boxer is to avoid withering on the vine as he waits, and probably waits some more, for a shot at the title.
IBF World, WBA Super World, WBO and IBO holder Andy Ruiz Jr. (33-1, 22 early) is enjoying life as the partially unified heavyweight champion and clearly knows his worth following last month’s upset win over Anthony Joshua.
Joshua’s team have been briefing the press on the need for Ruiz to come to the UK in order to “prove himself” yet the American has other ideas after telling Fox Sports that: “We still in negotiations they (are) trying to make us go over there. We are trying to get it back here in New York. I’d be more comfortable here. Me and him (Wilder) we’re in the same team, I just got to beat Anthony Joshua and then we’ll move onto the next (one).”
In other heavyweight news, Cassius Chaney moved to 16-0 (10) on a Top Rank card at the MGM National Harbor after knocking opponent Joel Caudle (8-3-2, 5 KOs) out of the ring. Referee Dave Braslow showed a hint of sadism by allowing “Quiet Storm” to haul himself back into the ring before waving it off at 1:52 of the first.
Manny Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) put on a masterclass to out-point Keith Thurman (29-1, 22 early) in a WBA Super World welterweight title defence at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Looking nowhere near his 40-years, the Filipino handed out a lesson to the perennially inactive “One Time”, who admitted that he needs to fight more often if he is to reach his full potential.
Although it was a split decision there was absolutely no way it was a split decision, if you get my drift. Pacquiao is now the oldest man to have held a welterweight title and joins George Foreman in winning a title 20 years after his first professional title win after relieving Thurman of the WBA’s “full” belt.
Aside from 2015’s loss to Floyd Mayweather, Las Vegas has had a good effect on Manny recently as he has looked full of vim and vigour in his last two fights there — he decisioned Adrien Broner in January — and he looks like he has a few more years left in him despite looking a done deal when losing to Jeff Horn last year. This writer prefers Mayweather in both personality and fighting style yet no one can deny what Pacquiao has achieved over the years.
Amir Khan (34-5, 21 KOs) has long called for a fight with his former gym mate and last week announced that he had signed on the dotted line for a meeting in Saudi Arabia on November 8. Manny clearly didn’t get the memo, or a contract, as he denied that the fight is in the works. “I think my next fight will probably be next year,” he said, dashing Khan’s hopes. “After this fight I am going back to the Philippines to start work again in the Senate.”