By: Ste Rowen
Another weekend, another fight-night at the O2 Arena. On Saturday night, the ‘White Rhino’, Dave Allen steps into the ring with Lucas ‘Big Daddy’ Browne; whilst Dereck Chisora returns to face Senad Gashi in the co-main event.
Browne’s last significant bout was his brutal KO loss to Dillian Whyte in which the Australian looked well out of his depth compared to the man who defeated Ruslan Chagaev in Russia to claim the WBA ‘Regular’ title back in 2016; so depending on which version of Lucas turns up, it’s could be a big step up for fan-favourite, Allen.
‘‘It feels like every boxing fan has taken me in as one of their own. They feel like they’re watching their friend in there.’’ The ‘Rhino’ told a packed-out press-conference. ‘‘I watched the Bracamonte fight back and thought if I carrying on fighting like this I’m not gonna end up in the greatest way.
I’m gonna beat Lucas Browne, I know I am. Me and Darren Barker haven’t been training for hours every day for nothing…The ability is there, I’ve been letting myself down, but I can fight.’’
Allen, 16-4-2 (13KOs) reignited his career nine months ago when he knocked out Nick Webb in four rounds, a victory that came just one month after Dave was stopped in the 10th round by Olympic gold medallist Tony Yoka. As mentioned, he’s been training with Darren Barker and the hope is that the Brit will come with a new style from his usual ‘take 2 to land 1’ tactics.
Lucas Browne, 28-1 (24KOs) has fought three times since his 6th vicious loss to Dillian Whyte last year, most recently a keep busy six-rounder with Kamil Sokolowski in March where the Australian was down briefly in the 2nd. But Browne is eager to put past demons to bed,
‘‘Obviously the last time out at the O2 wasn’t my day whatsoever so I’m looking to rectify that…There’s nothing bad to say about Dave Allen; handshakes and all that but once the bell goes we’re gonna punch the shit out of each other.’’
Before 2018, Browne was still seen as a lower ranked contender with reasonable power. If he’s able to regain that momentum he had before his failed drugs test, which lost him the minor belt, it could turn into a fight of the month contender.
The other heavyweight matchup on Saturday’s card sees Dereck ‘Del Boy’ Chisora up against Kosovan-born German, Senad Gashi. The two were on the same card last December when Chisora was stopped late on by Dillian Whyte. Gashi was also stopped, in the 7th by Carlos Takam.
The crazy career of Chisora, 29-9 (21KOs) means that he could be a fight or two from the big-time fight nights again, and the former world title challenger is well aware of the situation,
‘‘Big fights are available. The big 4 at the top don’t wanna fight each other so what can you say? I sit at the bottom of the scrap; I’ll just take them.
The O2 brings a load of great memories and disappointing moments. One minute your jumping up on the ropes, the next you’re under them…I’m motivated, if he comes to fight we’ll fight.’’
His opponent, Senad Gashi was stopped by Takam last year, an opponent Chisora brutally knocked out on the Whyte vs. Parker undercard in 2018. Gashi, 17-2 (17KOs) has also faced and lost via disqualification to future Tyson Fury opponent, Tom Schwarz, where the 28-year-old was DQ’d in round six but tried to continue the fight with Schwarz after the referee had made it clear the bout was over. If he allows that kind of indiscipline to take over again, he could be facing his 3rd loss in 4 bouts. But, Senad seemed in high spirits on Thursday when he spoke,
‘‘I took the Takam fight on seven days’ notice, but I had to take my chance…I can definitely win against Chisora. I’ve visualised this fight many times in my head, I’ve fought in my head 10 times against Chisora, 9 times I won, 1 time I got disqualified.’’
Both heavyweight fights are setup as gateway matchups to bigger things, and just maybe, a fight with each other.