When Kell Brook and David Allen were title-fighting on the same bill last time, it is fair to say it didn’t go well for either of them.
Sheffield’s Brook lost his IBF world welterweight championship to Errol Spence Jr at Bramall Lane and Conisbrough heavyweight Allen forfeited his chance to win the vacant Commonwealth belt, losing a split decision to Lenroy Thomas.
That was back in May.
Now the pair are on the same card again as Brook goes up a division to light middleweight to take on Belarus-born Sergey Rabchenka and Allen tries to redeem himself against Jamaican Thomas in a re-match.
Allen knows what is at stake on March 3 at Sheffield Arena.
“I want to go on to bigger and better things” he says. “Lenroy Thomas is not my be-all-and-end-all, but if I don’t beat him then it will be” he says.
“I didn’t even train (before the Lane fight,) I watched him and thought he was dreadful. So it serves me right.
“I have always been a bit of a joker and it caught up with me.
“I am still going to be me but it is time to knuckle down.
“I have got the talent.
“Take it serious and I will beat him 100%.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn warned Allen in front of press conference media that his career in title bouts would be over if he doesn’t get it right.
“This is it, for you. You have to make this count. You’ll get paid well but you won’t get the titles. You’ve got to rip it off him (Thomas)” said the Matchroom boss.
“I was going to tell you privately but I thought I’d tell you in front of everybody.”
It was an awkward moment, but Allen took it in good part. I see him as ‘Uncle Eddie’ now, giving the tough love out. At least he cares, which is nice, I guess.”
Allen says the re-match is “a fight I will definitely win if I am 100 per cent
“I just want to beat him and get him out of the way.
“Like I say, he isn’t really that good at all.
“He is not as good as Adam Jones” he said, referring to the Denaby Main man’s second round TKO of Sheffield’s Danny Tombs at Ponds Forge on Friday.
“I want to be on it from the first bell, landing clean shots, picking him off and stopping him.”
As for Brook, Allen thinks the home fighter should chalk up his first win in three attempts.
“The thing with Kell is, with Spence, he gave it 100 per cent, didn’t he?
“He said he did, so I take his word for it.
“He’s been a world champion, all the respect to Kell. So is he a great fighter? He is a very, very good fighter and if he beats Rabchenko, which is not an easy fight, you never know he could get the (Amir) Khan fight and then he will be a great fighter.
“But it is not an easy fight, and if Kell’s not on top of his game, he will struggle, I think.
“A lot of people are saying it is not a good fight, Rabchenko is a proper light middleweight.
“And if Kell is not on top of his game he will get beat. I hope he doesn’t!”
*FACTSPOT: Brook’s fans would gladly settle for a repeat of the performance their hero put in when last he boxed at Sheffield Arena.
In March 2016, he stopped an underwhelming Kevin Bizier in the second round.