THERE’S no sporting story more romantic than the unlikely underdog boxer with a once-in-a-lifetime shot to become heavyweight champion of the world.
There’s no underdog boxer more unlikely than Alex Leapai: the delivery truck driver, father of six, ex-con, choir-singing servant of God from working-class Logan, South-east Queensland, who will fight the second-longest reigning heavyweight champion of all time, Ukraine’s Wladimir Klitschko, in Germany on April 26.
When they make a movie about Leapai, Australia’s first heavyweight champion contender in 106 years, they will need to use computer-generated imagery to render Wladimir Klitschko: actors don’t come that big. They say it can’t be done. They say Leapai’s not got a chance in hell, but he’s been to hell – drink, drugs, six months in prison – and survived once before. The Samoan-born 34-year-old has two things in his favour, God and the hardest punch in world boxing, and both of those things can produce miracles.
There’s a caveat naysayer fight fans across the world put on their predictions of Leapai’s defeat: “… but all he has to do is land one.” And then their eyes light up with wonder: “What if…,” they say. “What if!”
“I believe,” Leapai says. “I know they’ve written me off but I believe I can beat this guy. He’s got two arms, two legs and a heartbeat. Once he feels what I’ve got it’s going to be goodnight.
“I’m ready to take out this world champion. We’re gonna make history. Australia’s gonna make history.”
A fairytale ending for Australia’s Cinderella man. What if.
So now apparently on the Australian website from midnight tonight there is a multimedia package including footage of Leapai’s training sessions, pictures and digital extras.
Get amongst it.
Click on the picture for a bit of Danny Geales latest. Rock and Roll, and I am pleased not to be the other bloke.