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 Deontay Wilder 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 Jose Ramirez vs. Amir Imam - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Gvozdyk Wins Tough Decision Over Amar, in Line For WBC Shot Ramirez: I'm Ready To Fight Best, No Matter What Critics Think Yeison Cohen Passes Away After KO Loss Earlier This Month Antonio Lozada Drops, Stops Felix Verdejo in Tenth Round Joe Joyce Destroys Donnie Palmer With Big Knockout in One Christopher Diaz Wins by TKO, Rodriguez Suffers Hand Injury Jose Pedraza Sheds Rust, Pounds Out Decision Over Rodriguez Whittom Dies After Being in 10 Month Coma Following KO Loss McKinley: Ramirez Doesn't Have Power, Imam By Far Best Opponent Danny O'Connor, Steve Claggett To Collide at House of Blues Roach: Imam Isn't Anything Special; Ramirez Should Stop Him Virgil Hunter Hospitalized Due To Health Scare, Recovering Jose Ramirez: I Learned So Much Working With Pacquiao, Cotto Sam Maxwell Moves To 6-0, Returns In Belfast Next Month Jose Ramirez vs. Amir Imam: Stats & Stakes Prograis Leaning Toward Ramirez Over Imam in '50-50 Fight' Don King: Imam Will Knock Out Ramirez; Give Us Pacquiao Next Luis Ortiz Coach Talks Loss, Confident Wilder is KO'd in Rematch Daily Bread Mailbag: Canelo, Mikey Garcia, PEDs in Boxing, More Frank Warren Talks Sadam Ali vs. Liam Smith Showdown Kal Yafai Wants The Chocolatito Showodwn, Then Sor Rungvisai Linares: Lomachenko is Fast - But He Does Not Have My Punch! Jeff Horn Warns Crawford: I'll Expose That Lack of Toughness! Roberto Arriaza Crushes Sammy Valentin With Knockout in One Kemahl Russell Drills Michi Munoz in The Second Round The Real Reason Why Floyd Mayweather Is Training MMA Antonio Orozco Wins Return, Estrada and Durate Shine in LA Chavez Sr. Gives Canelo The Edge, Picks Him To Beat Golovkin Undefeated Prospect Gets 11 Years For Being Illegal Drugs Kingpin Miguel Berchelt vs. Miguel Roman May Head To a Purse Bid Top Contender is Accused of Hiring Hitman in Murder of Lawyer Photos: Michael Dutchover, Scott Alexander Ready For Bouts Isaac Chilemba Wins Decision Over Blake Caparello Bellew Frustrated, Explains His Beef With Canelo's Positive Tests Arum on 'Improved' Verdejo: I Have To See it With My Own Eyes Photos: Gvozdyk vs. Amar, Michael Conlan - Ready For Action Photos: Verdejo, Diaz, Pedraza - Puerto Rico Triple Weigh-In Photos: Jose Ramirez, Amir Imam - Ready For Battle in New York Jorgen Hansen Passes Away at 74 Years Old

Latest Active Forum Threads