Just what will happen when Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury meet in their eagerly awaited rematch in Las Vegas this weekend? It’s THE question even the most casual of boxing fans are asking.
Few are as qualified to comment as Dave Allen – a man who has fought or sparred just about every hard-hitting heavyweight on the planet.
He tackled Dillian Whyte and Luiz Ortiz early on his career before heading to France to challenge Olympic gold medallist Tony Yoka. He felled the powerful Aussie Lucas Browne before feeling the heat from David Price when the pair met in July.
Still only 27, Allen was back in the ring in Sheffield little over a week ago, stopping Dorian Darch in the third round on the undercard of Kell Brook’s return. It was the latest entertaining stop on the whirlwind boxing tour of the popular Doncaster man.
He’s boxed some elite men, but he’s sparred all the top heavyweight fighters – with the exception of Wilder. He’s been in camp in the Austrian hills with Wladimir Klitschko, and completed countless rounds with Anthony Joshua, Daniel Dubois, Joe Joyce, Derek Chisora and, of course, Tyson Fury.
“When he was with Peter [Fury], I was in the camp then,” Dave explained. “When he was with Ben [Davison], I wasn’t in the camp, but I was a sparring partner.
“If you’re Tyson’s paid sparring partner, he’s going to knock lumps off you. He used to tell me I was his friend, so he wasn’t there to take liberties with me, and he never did.
“There were times when the spars were hard, but he is a thinking fighter. He thinks a lot and moves a lot. But any time he sat down on his punches, and people are surprised when I say this, he’s probably one of the heaviest handed punchers I’ve ever shared a ring with.”
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Year ago today was moving about with tyson, he was 26 stone plus telling me he was coming back, next Saturday he fights for the wbc heavyweight title, he's some man
Given the list of sparring partners and foes, that’s no faint praise. At their first pre-fight press conference, Wilder was quick to dismiss Fury as having ‘pillows for fists’, claiming the Gypsy King has no power to complement his undoubted skill.
Meanwhile, Fury has been telling the world he’s going to make it an early night for all involved. He revealed his plan on talkSPORT – knock out Wilder quick so everyone can get to the pub!
Is it all a Fury bluff? Will that really be the tactic on the night at the MGM? Dave Allen thinks it might well be.
“I’ve got my ear to the ground and I think that’s a genuine thing that he’s going to try and do,” he said. “I have heard that the plan is to go in there and take Wilder out. That’s not all talk and bravado, I believe that’s the real plan.
“I don’t think it’s the right way to go about it but who am I to tell Tyson Fury and his team how to go about things? For me, he has to do what he did in the first fight and hope he’s that little bit sharper.
“Tyson’s capable of knocking him out but it comes down to who lands first I guess – if Tyson wants to stand in front of him and let his hands go. I don’t think he needs to do that. He can outbox Wilder, he’s shown he can do that, so why make hard work of it?
“I think Tyson will go out and box because it’s his default. He loves it. He’ll move, he’ll frustrate Wilder, who’ll have to render Tyson unconscious to beat him. That’s not out of the realms of possibility, but I have to back Tyson. I always do because he’s that kind of man. Very hard to beat. That said it’s a 50-50 and I wouldn’t back either man with any kind of confidence at all!”
While the fight itself has captured the imagination of the sporting world, the build-up to the rematch has been no less intriguing.
Fury surprised everyone with his decision to part ways with trainer Ben Davison in December – a man he’d credited with saving his life, not just his career.
He crossed the Atlantic to join forces with Javan ‘Sugar’ Hill – nephew of the great Manny Steward – in preparation for his biggest challenge to date. A new trainer and so little time to gel ahead of such a huge mission? No problem, according to Allen.
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Feeling ready now for feb22 we going on a trip on our favourite rocket ship
Who is Tyson Fury’s new trainer? SugarHill Steward – the American coaching ‘Gypsy King’ for Deontay Wilder rematch
“Tyson is very much his own man,” he explained. “He’s the boss, whoever trains him. He’s very independent. For me, and this is no disrespect to anybody, but anyone could train Tyson Fury. He’s got so much natural talent and he knows it.
“I would never worry about who trains him because he’s that good and he pretty much does his own thing anyway.
“If he can leave Peter Fury and go elsewhere, he can leave anyone because Peter was probably the only person who had any kind of control over him. Peter’s that kind of man, he demands respect.”
So, the questions remain. Will a new man in Fury’s corner make any difference? Will the terrible cut he suffered last time out against Wallin re-open? Will he trade with arguably the biggest puncher the sport has ever known? Will he dance to victory? Will he serenade the crowd if he wins? Only the last point is certain – everything else is up for debate.
talkSPORT is to broadcast the exclusive audio rights to Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder’s highly anticipated rematch on Saturday, February 22 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. We will bring you nine hours of uninterrupted coverage from 10pm through to 7am GMT Sunday morning, including all the build up, action and post-fight analysis