Boyd Allen grew up with a determination to become a professional sportsman, although he wasn’t always sure which sport it would be that he stuck with.
Just a year ago, he switched back from mixed martial arts to boxing so you can say he still hasn’t quite figured it out. But the ease with which he’s gone from boxing to mixed martial arts and back to boxing suggests he might not have to pick one.
These days Allen splits his days between jiu jitsu, boxing training, running and conditioning with little time for anything else in between.
He owns his own gym and is working on his boxing skills under the guidance of Peter Smith. In the time since he’s switched back, he’s had five fights – four wins and a draw – and signed a promotional deal with Golden Gloves.
“Moving from mixed martial arts into boxing and sitting down with the biggest promoters in the country (Rodney Berman) and him saying we can make this work was a big deal,” says Allen.
“I think there are some people out there who still doubt me as a boxer – maybe rightly so – but a lot of people come out to support me. I think it stems from MMA. I knew I would have some type of support but I didn’t realise it would be as big as it is.”
Allen is still getting to grips with his new stable and the weaknesses Smith has picked up in his style – a by-product of his training for MMA.
“I’m enjoying the training a lot. (Peter) is working on flaws and fixing my style to suit their way of coaching. I am finding it a little bit difficult at the moment but the more you do something the better you get at it.”
The 29-year-old from Springs may be new to boxing fans but he’s a South African EFC featherweight and lightweight legend, having amassed a professional career of 20 fights with three losses and one draw. His draw came against Don Madge, who made the step up to UFC last year.
Allen’s success in EFC, however, came slightly before the sport’s popularity grew among sports fans in South Africa. He has no regrets about walking away to try something different.
“I think if I wanted to go back into the sport (MMA) I would have the opportunity to do so,” says Allen. “(Before I made the switch) I was I fighting once or twice a year which wasn’t suitable for me. I wanted to be more active, I wanted to fight more and compete internationally so that’s when I started looking for more fights.
“My next big goal is fight on the international stage and Golden Gloves have already said that’s what they’re aiming at for me.”
Allen comes from a large family and they’re all involved in sport somehow – he has a sister who plays golf professionally, a younger brother who teaches boxing and two younger sisters who are with him in the gym most days.
As a teenager he dreamed of playing Springbok rugby, there were hints at a career in swimming or track and field but boxing and MMA have won the battle. Allen may flip between the two some more and while it may confuse some fans, he’s perfectly content to live his dream throwing punches – either in the ring or the octagon.
(Accredited By SuperSport)