Heavyweight denies taking Dave Allen ‘dive’ ahead of bareknuckle title bid

Dave Allen Fix Boxer Dorian Darch Heavyweight

Dave Thompson

Heavyweight Dorian Darch has denied diving the charismatic Dave Allen as the Welshman bids for a barenuckle record-breaker.

Darch is fighting back after claiming boxing writers almost put him in prison due to speculation he ducked out of the Allen fight.

Now, almost two years later, he bids to become the first heavyweight world bareknuckle boxing champion for more than a century this month.

Daniel Podmore will be the opponent for the vacant title at London’s O2 Arena on Saturday, January 22.

Darch bowed out of gloved boxing after a three-round stoppage loss to Dave Allen in February 2020. The Board and the Gambling Commission investigated after some reported irregular betting activity before the fight.

Though authorities took no action, Darch says punters pestered him after the fight.

The 37-year-old said: “I was driving to work, and somebody sent me a screenshot of a newspaper headline that read something like: ‘Dorian Darch takes a dive.’ I almost had a heart attack.

“These people write fairytales to sell papers. Just because someone says something on social media doesn’t mean it’s true.

“They do it to celebrities all the time. I know some of them probably deserve it, but it’s still wrong. 

“If there had been any suspicions, I would have had a phone call or a letter from someone. Nut all I got was a few messages from people saying: ‘I haven’t been paid out yet.’

“That’s got nothing to do with me. Hand on heart, I never dived. I went in there, had a go, and then took a few slaps, and that was that.

“These stories could have landed me in trouble. My daughter was only four or five at the time, and kids of that age don’t read the papers. 

“But if she had been 10 or 11, kids would have had a go at her, and then I would have gone around beating up their dads.

“Then I would have got into trouble.”

Darch admits he was disappointed how his professional gloved career ended. He says a stoppage loss to Ian Lewison in December 2012 was the turning point.

He said: “I was just chasing money after that. I wasn’t one of those fighters who think they are better than they are.

“That fight made me realize my level, and after that, I was just fighting to pay for holidays.

“Those last few results make it look like I’m rubbish, but I was getting a phone call on Wednesday evening and then fighting on Saturday night.

“I wasn’t going to the gym either.”

Podmore Darch

HEAVYWEIGHT MOTIVATION

Darch says bareknuckle boxing has remotivated him – and wishes he had discovered the sport sooner.

“I’ve always been an aggressive street fighter, and this suits me. I was never a classy boxer, and in bareknuckle boxing, I can just go out and put it on them.”

Darch says he had a wealth of bareknuckle boxing experience before signing up with BKB TM. 

“Until I met my missus, I was fighting bareknuckle every weekend,” he said. “From the ages of 18 to 23, I was fighting on the football and rugby pitch.

“Then I’d be fighting down the pub afterward as well!

“I was brain dead. I’m not proud of it. I only took up boxing to keep me off the beer. I’ve grown up now.

“I’ve got a missus and kids and a good job. I don’t need to fight bareknuckle. I just like fighting!”

Darch says he got back in the gym after his wife became tired of drinking. 

“I was drinking 15 cans a night during the lockdown, and my missus said I had to sort myself out,” he said. 

“She kept on about it, so I said: ‘I will have to start fighting again.’ 

“She presumed I meant gloved boxing, and she didn’t talk to me for a few days after she realized I was doing bareknuckle. But she’s OK with it now.”