Dave Allen has told talkSPORT.com he is experiencing some ‘fear’ as he prepares to return to boxing next month.
The perennially popular ‘White Rhino’ has not fought since being stretchered out of the ring at the end of his defeat to David Price last July.
Despite initially being the favourite heading into the bout, Allen endured a brutal ten-round beating which some thought would see him into retirement.
However, the 27-year-old insists he still has more to give to the sport and will be back on February 8 in Sheffield.
“After the Price fight there is a bit of trepidation,” Allen admitted to talkSPORT.com, “I’m not gonna lie, there’s a bit of fear.
“I think about it and my chest gets going a little bit, I was never like that before. I just hope it brings out the best in me.
“I box like I’m scared, that’s how I’ve been boxing since the Price fight, I’ve been sparring recently like that and I’m a lot better for it.
“I’m a small heavyweight. I need to rely on my movement, my reflexes, which are outstanding in the gym.
“So I’m gonna try that approach because I’ve tried all the others and they’ve failed.
“Let’s get the British heavyweight title won and everything else will be a bonus from there.”
Allen’s ambitions in boxing appear to change on a regular basis, with plans to win titles previously scrapped in favour of bigger money fights.
Now though, the Doncaster man has new priorities in the form of a stable of young fighters he’s now training in his hometown.
Danny Murrell, Jay McFarlane, Liam Carrigan, Jack Lifsey and Paul Smith all work with closely with Allen as they continue to develop their fledgling amateur and professional careers.
As for his own journey though, the ‘White Rhino’ now insists he has his sights set firmly on the iconic Lord Lonsdale Challenge Belt.
Allen explained: “It’s just the goal full stop. To be the British heavyweight champion would fill my granddad and my dad with such pride.
“And more than anything, we talk financial gain, we talk doing it for the boys, but making my dad and granddad proud would mean a lot to me.
“The British heavyweight title is the be-all and end-all. It always has been. It’s very winnable I believe, when Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce move on I think I must be near the top of the tree.
“I do believe we’ll get it won this year, yeah.”
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If Allen is to win the British title, he’ll now have to do so without the trainer he forged a seemingly inseparable bond with last year.
The heavyweight explained: “Me and Darren agreed to not work together the night of the Price fight, after the fight.
“Darren said, ‘I don’t wanna do this again.’
“I love Darren Barker to death, there’s no animosity whatsoever, we speak very often, he FaceTimed me last night.
“But he’s very busy, he’s got commitments with Sky and Matchroom, he’s got a young family at home.
“I could not speak a negative word about him, but he’s just too busy and he doesn’t want to do it. He doesn’t have the enjoyment out of it and that’s fair enough.
“I’ve been working with my old amateur coach, got a strength and conditioning coach in now. A proper one, not just a pretend one. A real one this time.
“I’m focussed on building myself back up.”