BERLIN: Heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko has dubbed Alex Leapai “Australia’s Rocky” ahead of Saturday’s world title bout (Sunday in Manila) when the challenger tries to complete his rags to riches tale.
Leapai sat behind bars in the high-security wing of a north Brisbane jail around the time Klitschko won his first world title in 2006, but now the 34-year-old will box for the champion’s World Boxing Association, International Boxing Federation, World Boxing Organization (WBO) and International Boxing Organization belts in Oberhausen, Germany, on Saturday.
A bar fight saw the Samoan-born Leapai jailed for six months, “that time still haunts me today.”
What he gives away in 15 centimeters of height, he is determined to make up for with passion and commitment.
“I’m here to make history,” says Leapai. “I want people in 100 years to remember that a Samoan-born Aussie came out of nowhere and beat one of the best heavyweights of all time.
He earned the right to fight Klitschko by defeating WBO mandatory challenger Denis Boystov in Germany in November and now has the chance to become Australia’s first world heavyweight champion.