clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Dave Allen says Anthony Joshua isn’t most naturally gifted, but works harder than everyone

Allen sparred with AJ ahead of the 2012 Olympics, and still considers that his dream fight.

FlyDSA Arena Boxing Photo by Richard Sellers/PA Images via Getty Images

Popular British heavyweight Dave Allen has had something of a roller coaster pro career. He seemed to be knocking on the door of a possible world title shot when he knocked out Lucas Browne a year ago, but that came crashing down hard three months later, when David Price dominated him and handed Allen his fifth defeat.

Now 28, Allen (18-5-2, 15 KO) seems likely, in all honesty, to top out at domestic level. But he is still thinking big and looking to prove doubters wrong, and considers reigning WBA/IBF/WBO heavyweight titleholder Anthony Joshua his dream opponent.

Allen says he sparred with Joshua before the 2012 Olympics, where Joshua won a gold medal, and until 2015. He told Sky Sports that AJ really isn’t the most naturally talented fighter out there, but he works harder than everyone else, and that has taken him to the top:

“A lot of people think I don’t like the man but that’s not the case. I have an unbelievable amount of respect and admiration for him and for what he has achieved. ... I saw from the beginning how much he worked. ... He wasn’t that much better than me but, over the years, he has grafted and grafted.”

The chance of Allen getting a crack at Joshua’s world titles — or any world titles — seems slim, but you never know. Fighters no more sincere a world-level fighter than Allen get world title opportunities all the time, really. Sometimes you’re just the right name in the right place at the right time to fill a slot, and if you get the call, you’ve got your chance. Allen’s popularity in the UK could, if he puts together some wins, put him in a stunning spot eventually. He’s still pretty young.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Bad Left Hook Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your global boxing news from Bad Left Hook