Leapai rallies Pacific for world fight

That is the clear message Samoan Alex Leapai would like the boxing world to believe as he readies himself for what is deemed as the biggest fight on earth on April 27. Leapai is destined to make history not just for his native Samoa but also his adopted Australia when he takes a crack at the heavyweight championship of the world next month in Oberhausen, Germany, against reigning champion Wladimir Klitschko of Ukraine. L e a p a i i s a man with a colourful past of all sorts—misdeeds, criminal records, stretches in prison and a habit of munching pies and coke before training. At his prime in fitness, Leapai is now 34 with a comparable record of 30-4-3 with 24 knockouts since turning professional in Queensland in 2004. He was installed as the number one contender for the world challenge after he knocked out the previously unbeaten Denis Boytsov in a WBO fight last November. Leapai was handpicked to fight Boystov—who thought the six-foot Samoan would be an easybeat and a routine victory as he himself was preparing to take a shot at Klitschko. Leapai roughed up Boystov, knocking him out twice in the fight and went on to score a major upset in what was not even an official elimination fight for WBO.

“It won’t even be my toughest fight”:  Now on a strict disciplinary food and training regime for the big clash, the beefy Samoan has suddenly got the world at his feet—Klitschko will defend his WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles against Leapai. The winner on April 26 will wear the very same crown donned by Mohammed Ali, Joe Frazier, Larry Holmes, George Foreman and Mike Tyson. “I’ll beat Wladimir and it won’t even be my toughest fight,” Leapai told a world boxing magazine. That’s easier said than done—Klitschko’s record speaks miles about the world champion. He has 51 knockouts from his 61-3 outings.

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