Advertisement
Advertisement

Leapai Hopes To Inspire With Klitschko Performance

Comparisons with Rocky can't be avoided by Alex Leapai after the unheralded Brisbane delivery van driver booked a world title shot with one of the greatest heavyweight champions of all time, Wladimir Klitschko.

Especially after Leapai happily recreated the famous scene in Sylvester Stallone's hit movie by triumphantly running up stairs for the Gold Coast media on Wednesday in a rare break ahead of his dream April 26 fight in Germany.

But Leapai said he felt like another fictional character when he stared down the Ukrainian superstar at a recent media event in Germany that confirmed he would be the first Australian to fight for the undisputed heavyweight belt since 1908.

"The funny thing is I switched over and pretty much turned into the Hulk," he said.

"I was thinking 'why wait, let's get it on tonight'.

"But (trainer) Noel (Thornberry) said 'settle down'.

"He (Klitschko) came off as a gentleman so I had to show him that same respect."

He may have done his best Rocky impersonation on Wednesday but few Hollywood scripts could rival Leapai's story.

When Klitschko won his first world title in 2006, Leapai was serving a six-month jail sentence in Brisbane for assaulting two nightclub bouncers.

Since then the Ukrainian giant has gone on to defend the title 15 times, been engaged to US actress Hayden Panettiere and made up to $30 million in prize money.

Arguably Samoan-born Leapai has achieved much more, turning his life around while raising six kids with wife Theresa who was heavily pregnant with their fourth child when her husband was imprisoned.

He reckons he went through 10 cars driving the three-hour round trip a day to trainer Thornberry's Gatton gym during the nine-year slog it took to book his dream fight.

Leapai - once lost to drinking and marijuana use - said he would never forget the day his mother was reduced to tears when he was slapped with a jail sentence.

His mum was again crying when he last saw her - this time with tears of joy.

He ended a whirlwind three-week overseas promotional jaunt for the fight at his homeland Samoa, where his proud mum greeted him at the island nation's airport with open arms.

She has not let go - Leapai brought her back to be with family as he prepares to launch an intense eight-week build-up to the fight of his life, which is expected to net the former battler a $1.6 million pay cheque.

"I am only the second person from Samoa to get a title shot after David Tua (in 2000).

"From a little island, it's a big thing."

It's a big deal in the Leapai household, too.

"The kids know this is what I have to do to put food on the table and now I have a chance to set them up," he said.

"I also want to show them I have achieved something.

"In 100 years' time hopefully they still say this is the guy who went over and conquered the great Klitschko."

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Thurman on 03-02-2014

[QUOTE=daggum;14272682]kevin johnson ko'd this guy.............i can't..........[/QUOTE] With enough roids and a winner's attitude, I believe you can too. :fing02:

Comment by beez721 on 02-26-2014

[QUOTE=kafkod;14273795]It is. But I fear he is going to be bouncing off the canvas on April 26.[/QUOTE] yea its hard to imagine him lasting more than a few rounds when kj knocked him senseless unless wlad decides to play huggie…

Comment by kafkod on 02-26-2014

[QUOTE=Weltschmerz;14272477]It's great when a man can conquer his demons and bounce back like this.[/QUOTE] It is. But I fear he is going to be bouncing off the canvas on April 26.

Comment by daggum on 02-26-2014

kevin johnson ko'd this guy.............i can't..........

Comment by Tobi.G on 02-26-2014

[QUOTE=Keitha313;14272497]One thing is for sure he can't do any worse than David Gaye.[/QUOTE] At least Haye won 3 rounds, Haye did better against Wlad tham most others. Yes it was lackluster, but Wlad was lackluster too. Both men fought like…

Post a Comment/View More User Comments (10)
Top Headlines Hearn: If Chisora Beats Pulev, He's Prime Candidate For Joshua Lara on Canelo-Golovkin Beef: Canelo Should Vacate, I'll Fight Both! Photos: Anthony Crolla, Ismael Barroso Ready For Manchester War Video: Chisora Hit By Bottle, Loses His Mind at Pulev Weighin Weights From Manchester: Crolla 134.5, Barroso 134.3 NJ Changes How Referees Assess Hurt Fighters After Knockdowns Haye-Gjergjaj Radio Broadcast Rights Picked Up By talkSPORT Lemieux: Let's See How Tapia Adapts, I'm Sure I'm Gonna Hit Him WBC Prez Admits Tough Spot - if Mayweather, Khan Target Garcia Lennox Lewis: This is Khan's Time To Secure Place With UK Stars Nonito Donaire's Next Defense in Cebu or Dubai - With Magdaleno? Euro News: Edis Tatli, Eva Wahlstrom, Schwarz, Soslan Tedeev Crolla-Barroso: Marcus Morrison Pumped For WBC Title Fight Holyfield Cautions That Khan Must Make Adustments At All Times Anthony Yigit Aims To Steal The Show at Barclaycard Arena Video: Virgil Hunter Discusses Factors in Canelo vs. Khan David Haye: I'll Be Surprised if Shannon Briggs Beats Dimitrenko Video: Lennox Lewis Hits Las Vegas For Canelo vs. Khan Canelo's Trainer: Golovkin is Not a Difficult Fight, It's Only Tough Hopkins: Big Not Always Better, But Canelo KO's Khan in 9 or 10 Glen Tapia on David Lemieux Fight: I Will Turn My Haters Into Fans Video: WBC Prez on Canelo-Golovkin Situation, Khan, Stevenson Hunter: Khan Winning is No Upset, Canelo is NOT Very Good Video: Evander Holyfield Breaks Down The Heavyweight Division Hunter Feels Canelo's Edge Due to Weight a Bit Exaggerated Video: Hopkins on Donald Trump, Caitlyn Jenner, Canelo-Khan Khan Says KO is Tough, Confident He Can Box Canelo's Ears Off Photos/Weights: Marvin Quintero vs. Petr Petrov, More De La Hoya: People Laughed at My Pacquiao Fight - He Retired Me! Video: Lucas Matthysse on Career Status, Future in Boxing Video: Eddie Hearn Talks Joshua, Fury, Crolla, Groves, Murray Photos: Canelo vs. Khan Undercard Final Press Conference Hunter Admits Amir Khan Lacking 'Killer Instinct' in His Arsenal Felix Diaz vs. Miguel Vazquez: PBC on FS1, 5/28 WBC: Adonis Stevenson Must Face Eleider Alvarez After Next Fight Video: Joe Gallagher Talks Crolla vs. Barroso Clash Canelo-Khan II Would Be Pursued in '16 if Khan Wins De La Hoya's Story in Doubt as Trump 'Great Golfer' Video Surfaces Alantez Fox Faces Milton Nunez on PBC on Bounce Video: Anthony Crolla Ready For Barroso Showdown
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement