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Alex Leapai To Appeal Technical Draw: Lenny Z, Paul Fleming Win

Alex Leapai is set to appeal against a controversial technical draw with Roger Izonritei which has stalled his boxing comeback.

The 38-year-old heavyweight was fighting on Wednesday night on the undercard of Jeff Horn's welterweight title defence at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. It was his second bout since coming out of retirement.

Former world heavyweight title challenger Leapai was all over his Nigerian-born opponent for two-and-a-half rounds.

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But after a deep cut opened up on Izonritei's forehead, referee Paul Tapley intervened and called a technical draw, ruling Leapai had struck him with a stray elbow.

That incensed Leapai, who said he felt the connection with his right hand and accused Izonritei of throwing in the towel.

"I'm not really happy," Leapai said.

"That's the reason why I egged him on to come and fight, because he didn't want to come and fight.

"He's the one who pulled out, not me."

Leapai's trainer Noel Thornberry said Tapley "lost control" of the fight and believed there were solid grounds for an appeal.

"It wasn't stopped by the doctor, so it's not a technical draw," he said.

"Based on that, we're definitely going to appeal it, because the boxer did not stop the fight.

"The boxer stopped fighting. He chose not to fight. There was no blood impairing his vision.

"He just felt that he didn't want to continue in the fight and that's fair enough, because he'd taken some pretty heavy punishment up until that point."

Leapai retired in February 2016 after being told he was at risk of going blind if he continued fighting.

But he was cleared to return to the ring after successful eye surgery and dropped 46kg to reach peak condition, having piled on weight following the death of his faster.

In the other early undercard bouts, Sydney boxer Lenny Zappavigna eased past Uruguayan Nestor Faccio Cordozo with a third-round TKO, while Olympian Paul Fleming stopped Filipino Vergil Puton in round seven.

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