YOU versus Dave Allen is seen as a 50-50 fight, does that bother you?
No, not at all. One of the great things for me now is letting go of this attachment to what I should be, where I should be. I’ve let go of that and now I’ve just accepted that I didn’t reach that level which I was trying to reach. But I’m still a talented fighter who can entertain people and get the right results given the right circumstances and preparation. So that doesn’t bother me. That’s like an ego thing. So I’m quite, quite content to be the B-side, the underdog fighter in this fight. Dave Allen, apart from his last fight, he’s normally that fighter. Now he’s got himself in a position, credit to him with his results, where he’s elevated his status and now it’s up to him to stay there. So it’s kind of reversed. I’d have had a hell of a lot to lose if I’d fought and I didn’t really want to give him the opportunity. Now we’re on an even keel and that’s what I like about the fight.
What do you make of the Dave Allen phenomenon?
I don’t really know what’s going on with the social media thing but I do know he’s got a big following. I’m guessing a lot of people can relate to him as a man. He’s just a normal fella. He’s got a bit of a self-deprecating humour about him, which people love to see. It’s like an over the top modesty. He can have a laugh and a joke with himself. So people like that and they warm to it and they start rooting for him. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how much talent you’ve got. If people like you, they’re desperate for you to do well and that’s what’s happened.
You don’t get to where he’s got without having something about you.
The finish [against Lucas Browne] was unbelievable. He’s done that not expecting it. But they’re always the ones that always do the job – the ones that you’re not really trying to do the job with. It was a great body shot and in heavyweight boxing you very rarely see fights getting ended with a body shot. So I better do loads of sit ups.
What kind of a fight do you see it being?
I just need to be super fit for this fight, if it does go to the later rounds, so I can keep my shape and keep him off me.
I’ve never sparred him but from what I’ve seen he isn’t easy to miss… If I can get my shots off that’s a start.
I’d love to be the first man to knock him out.
Aside from being bitten, what’s your view of your last performance?
Kash Ali isn’t the easiest opponent to face. He’s very twitchy, very unorthodox. I’ve sparred hundreds of rounds with him, very rarely land a clean punch on him. [Getting the win,] that’s enough. So I need to look towards more just getting the job done, just functionally, not spectacularly at this stage of the game. Because with the win, you’re up there.
Winning this could put you into a fight with one of the big names.
It’s the biggest fight of my career. No, no doubt about it, but the beauty of it is it’s very winnable. The other biggest fight of my career was [Alexander] Povetkin. I was going into the Povetkin one knowing I was up against it. With this one, I’ve got a great chance of winning.