LAST year I wrote in this column about Doncaster manager and promoter Billy Bridgwater. One of the boxers that Billy will have come into regular contact with was Bernard Allen. Bernard was a pretty decent featherweight during the 1920s and he is the great-grandfather of one of the most popular heavyweights around today, Dave Allen of Conisborough.
Much has been written and said about Dave; he is a hard man in the ring and a likeable one outside the ropes. He certainly comes from solid fighting stock. His father, also called Dave, boxed at welterweight between 1978 and 1984. As an amateur he boxed twice for Young England, stopping Robert Reichl in a 9-2 thrashing of Young Germany in 1976 and then lost against Young Ireland the following year. He became the North-East Counties champion in 1978 and was the losing finalist against Lee Hartshorn in the Northern Counties finals in the same year. He also reached the ABA junior semi-finals in 1975, being outscored by Cliff Gilpin, another excellent pro some years later.
With such solid amateur credentials, he quickly made his mark as a professional, winning most of his early contests and being described by BN as a “fine balanced fighter with good footwork” and “displaying a sharp left hook with plenty of coolness”. His final contest was at the Bramall Lane football ground, the home of Sheffield United, and he went out with a win against Wednesbury’s Granville Allen, who he stopped in five.