Price vs Allen is a fight that pits two men in very different situations, but only one of them
Unlike the stereo typical crossroads fight, only Allen can realistically go on to fight the top flight heavyweights if he wins. A Price victory will leave Matchroom Boxing with a real dilemma because Price has failed miserably every time he has stepped up to that level and the investment involved in matching him with another top 15 heavyweight would be money wasted, at 36 years of age and the poor form he has suffered ever since his 2013 first loss to American former world title challenger Tony Thompson, there would be little point in going there again.
We are still not sure what level Allen will peak at. Since bringing in former IBF Middleweight champion Darren Barker, the Doncaster heavyweight has undergone a transformation both mentally and physically. His life style is now one of an ambitious fighter compared to the laugh a minute, win some lose some character we saw before.
The reason this fight has drawn interest on the domestic front at least, is the career history of its participants. Price, before the two Thompson defeats and subsequent losses to Erkan Teper, Christian Hammer, and Alexander Povetkin, was seen by many as the natural successor to Wladimir Klitschko. In his first 15 fights, Price demolished good quality heavyweights like ‘Big’ John McDermott. Now, McDermott was seen by many fans as an out of shape guy that would not be able to compete with world class competition, however, Danny Williams, Tyson Fury and Matt Skelton all found out the hard way that in a similar fashion to Andy Ruiz Jr, looks can be deceiving.
Price followed the McDermott win with victories over Sam Sexton, Audley Harrison, and Matt Skelton, all in under 4 rounds.
Allen’s losses to Luis Ortiz, Dillion Whyte, and Olympic gold medallist Tony Yoka were all a case of being matched above his level at short notice. At this stage of his development Allen didn’t seem to care if he won or not. His only other loss was to Jamaican Lenroy Thomas for the Commonwealth title in a fight he could have won if he had trained diligently. A draw in a rematch with Thomas, once again with the title at stake, seemed to prove that he wasn’t going to progress, even to domestic title level.
He did get himself back into the mix with a 4th round knockout of unbeaten prospect Nick Webb, but it was when he linked up with Barker that things clicked into place and he came up with the performance of his career, knocking out former WBA regular heavyweight champion Lucas ‘Big Daddy’ Browne.
Allen will start favourite because he has good stamina and a solid chin, but in Price he meets a huge man, all 6’ 8” of him, with such heavy hands that very few active heavyweights could take solid, clean punches from him. Former world heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin very nearly saw his chance of challenging Anthony Joshua for his titles at Wembley go up in smoke when Price connected with a left hook in the 3rd round of their showdown on the undercard of Joshua vs Takam.
The fight will go in Allen’s favour as long as he doesn’t take too many of Price’s heavy shots. The Liverpool man starts to tire badly after 4 rounds, and I am sure that Barker will have devised a plan to make Price work hard in those first 4 rounds before sending his charge in to finish the fight in the middle rounds.
I’m going to go for an Allen win in rounds 4, 5, or 6.