‘You’re Just a Piece of Meat to Them’ – Dave Allen Recalls His Sparring Sessions With Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury, Oleksandr Usyk and More

Published 01/09/2021, 2:18 AM EST


British heavyweight Dave Allen has faced crushing defeats in several big fights of his career. His professional resume of 18 wins with 5 losses and 2 draws, does not stand out.

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However, ‘White Rhino’ is fortunate to have traded blows with some of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time. Dave Allen has sparred with several elites including the likes of Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua, Oleksandr Usyk and the Klitschko brothers amongst others.

Although he couldn’t dominate the heavyweight division for much time in his professional career,  Allen has clearly assisted many in doing so. Having sparred with so many boxers, he is one of the most available training partners in the sport.

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But he might not see it as a way to impress the fans. In an interaction with Sky Sports, Allen has revealed how sparring is very different from a real fight. According to Allen, sparring doesn’t determine a fighting IQ since sparring partners don’t consider each other as opponents.

Allen said, “You think you are friends. You know and even with the clicks going, music, after a couple of days around, you just say, I am just mate. I am just helping them out. But you are not really, you know you are just piece of meat to them.”

Dave Allen and his heavyweight sparing

Being a part of so many fight camps, Allen understands the current heavyweight division to its core. He appears happy to have shared the ring with legends, even though in mere training.

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‘White Rhino’ said, “I was just always happy to be there. I thought at least these fighters and their teams must become good fighters to be there. When I was in these sparring camps, the real fight is there and I think well you are a very good fighter, so I must be as well. So I used to take it as a compliment. I was even in the camp.”

He won his recent fight against Dorian Darch via KO on February 2020. However, the 28-year-old retired after the fight and can look forward to continuing boxing as a trainer or a sparring partner.

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Do you think Dave Allen should have continued his boxing career?

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Raj Sarkar

1901 articles

A senior boxing writer at EssentiallySports, Raj Sarkar is a mass media graduate who is currently pursuing his master’s degree in broadcast journalism. In addition to his current role, he has worked with the MMA team at EssentiallySports and has interviewed prominent fighters such as Ritu Phogat and 'The Red King' Rory MacDonald. He combined his bachelor's degree with his adoration for combat sports and has a combined 2000 plus bylines in MMA and boxing over the last two years.

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