ALEX Leapai (30-5 24 KOs) is a man on a mission. A mission to prove that he is not only the best heavyweight in the land, but amongst the best in the world. To right the wrongs of his loss to the best heavyweight of the last decade, Wladimir Klitschko.
The big Samoan-Australian is ready to make a statement to show he belongs on the big stage and it all starts on October 24th with trash talking American Malik Scott (36-2, 13 KOs).
Leapai took time out from his training camp to talk to aus-boxing about his upcoming make or break fight with Scott, his relationship with mate and trainer, Noel Thornberry, and answers to some of Scott’s outlandish claims about his upcoming fight with the American.
Alex Leapai is a humble and respectful man. A man who is proud of his Samoan heritage, a man of faith, and a father of six children. The Logan resident has come a long way in his professional career, which started back in 2004 and has since become the 1st Australian in 106 years to fight for the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world.
Although losing that fight to champion, Wladimir Klitschko, the experience of the big stage fighting elite level competition will no doubt put him in good stead in next months bout with highly ranked American, Malik Scott.
Like Scott (who claims he will retire if he loses to Leapai) this is a crossroads fight for Leapai who desperately wants another shot at a world title.
The man that has helped him get there is highly regarded Aussie trainer, Noel Thornberry. Leapai speaks highly of Thornberry and what he has done for his career.
“When I met Noel I was always the old school type fighter. No bouncing around just walk up straight in your face type. I needed somebody who could change that, to fine tune what I already have,” said Leapai in an exclusive interview with Aus-Boxing.
“He made some adjustments but was also careful not to take away my strengths. It’s been 10 years since I met him. Out of the boxing ring, he has been like a brother to me and I am just so thankful to have him because he’s turn me into a world class fighter that I am today.”
When quizzed about the American’s bold statement about retiring if he starts losing to B and C grade fighters, this is what Leapai had to say.
“Well if he retires, he retires, that’s his decision. You know how some of them are, he’s loud and likes to be the centre of attention.” he explained.
“He can do whatever he does but he’s heading for the canvas. He ain’t no Kilitschko. All I know is that he is coming to fight in my backyard in front of my people and I am not going to let you all down”.
This fight has the makings of a real barnburner. A fight of contrasting styles of boxer vs brawler. Who will win? Find out on October 24th at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre or Main Event pay-per-view.
Also on the card is the much anticipated Australian super middleweight title fight between young Victorian star, Jake Carr and the fast rising and talented Renold Quinlan.
Words: Dan Smart
Photos: The Australian