Editor's letter | Issue | Premium | Feb 11 2020

Dave Allen v Dorian Darch – Examining the likelihood of the ‘fix’

It seems unlikely that Dave Allen and Dorian Darch hatched a gambling scam, writes Matt Christie
Dave Allen
Action Images/Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

THE slightest talking point can become a full-blown scandal when opinions gather and multiply on social media. A recent case in point occurred after heavyweight David Allen’s third round victory over Dorian Darch in Sheffield, which was broadcast by Sky Sports on the undercard of Kell Brook’s comeback win over Mark De Luca.

Within moments of the finish there were suggestions online that Darch – with the help of Allen – had thrown the fight due to the manner in which he was counted out: He rose from his back to a sitting position where he appeared to make the decision that enough was enough. By Monday afternoon, the fight was being investigated by the Gambling Commission, who will in turn inform the British Boxing Board of Control of their findings, after it emerged that a high number of bets had been placed on the third round finish.

Further ‘evidence’: While providing the commentary for Sky Sports, Andy Clarke revealed moments after the opening bell that he had spotted Allen and Darch having breakfast together on the morning of the fight; there was barely any action in rounds one and two; replays appear to show Darch shaking his head and inviting Allen to ‘come on’ shortly after he’s hurt from a left hook in the third. The suggestion being that the Welshman, after concocting the plan with his rival in the fight hotel, then went through the motions with Allen for the opening six minutes, before instructing his opponent to summon another solid whack so he could go over and make it look legitimate.