By Iain Dolan
Lots of bad news in boxing over the last week but Dave Allen’s stoppage win over Lucas “Big Daddy” Browne injected some (perfectly legal) feelgood factor. Allen turned up in shape for once and showed that he can make a noise on the domestic scene and maybe even past that. He won’t lack for opportunity provided he’s still selling tickets for Matchroom so it’s going to be a fun ride. Allen has connected with the fans in a way that few have managed so the odd cynic aside, he’ll enjoy a lot of support wherever this journey ends up. The 3rd round body shot that finished Browne was a beauty and triggered some joyous scenes with Darren Barker in his corner. The O2 arena was not even half full but those present still provided a decent atmosphere and, minor scuffle in the crowd aside, it was a positive and happy vibe. I think Dave Allen can take a fair bit of credit for making the atmosphere a fun one.
That the place was bouncing at the end was a testament to Dave Allen’s popularity because the co-headline fight between Dereck “War”Chisora and Gashi nearly put everybody to sleep. Del Boy tried to make a fight of it, but Gashi didn’t seem to want to engage for the most part.
Josh “Pretty Boy” Kelly had a large support in the arena but divided opinion at ringside between “counter punching genius who will look a million dollars against more ambitious opposition” and “overrated fanny who neeeds to throw some bloody punches”. I lean more towards the former than the latter as he’s clearly got plenty of talent and he did drop Runowski three time en route to a points victory, but could maybe do with being a little busier?
Speaking of plenty of talent, the performance of the night for me (Sorry Dave) was Joe Cordina’s demolition of Andy Townend. Townend is no mug and Cordina toyed with him, dropped him and stopped him in convincing fashion.
Conor Benn also dropped his oponent on the way to a 80-71 points win and seems to be concentrating a bit more on his fundamentals rather than just having a tear up.
It will be intersting to see where all the house fighters go from here.