Alex Leapai reveals the lessons learned from Klitschko loss
BRISBANE fighter Alex "Lionheart" Leapai has opened up about his gut-wrenching world heavyweight title loss to Wladimir Klitschko earlier this year, revealing he felt he had let everyone down, especially his family.
The powerful Klitschko demolished the big-punching Leapai, who barely landed a blow before his dream was shattered in five lopsided rounds.
"It was the first time I had fought on a stage that big in my life," Leapai revealed exclusively to APN ahead of his comeback fight in Brisbane next Saturday with world-ranked American Malik Scott - a former US junior champion who boasts an imposing record and who has declared he is here to "whoop the Lionheart's ass" in "spectacular fashion". "The nerves kicked in and everything just kinds blanked out," Leapai added.
"It all kinda got to me, the build-up, the occasion, what it meant to my family, to the people back home in Australia.
"But that was not the real Alex Leapai which you will see when I fight Scott."
The father of six said the painful lessons he'd learned from the stage fright that gripped him as he climbed into the ring against the intimidating Klitschko in Oberhausen, Germany on April 27 would serve him well against the skilful Scott as he takes the first steps to rebuilding his reputation.
Scott returned to Brisbane this week declaring Leapai would think he was "fighting an octopus" he would hit him with that many punches.
But Leapai delivered his own message for the slick-talking, cigar-sucking American likened to outrageous former NBA superstar Dennis Rodman, declaring he'd stop his trash talking by knocking him out.
"We didn't want just any fighter, we wanted a really top fight and Scott is one of the best out there," Leapai said.
Scott, who turns 35 tomorrow, has won 36 of his 39 fights and is regarded as one of the best technicians in the heavyweight division.
"To me records mean nothing you know," said Leapai who'll be relying heavily on his brutal punching power which was missing against Klitschko but has provided him with 24 knockouts in his 30 professional wins.
"I didn't focus on what I was supposed to do in the Klitschko fight but I am 100% sure that's not going to happen again."