Leapai fights for his future
NO SPORT compares to boxing when it comes to the ability to slip from the penthouse to the outhouse in matter of months.
While it is not quite that bad for Alex Leapai and trainer Noel Thornberry, the loss of a pay-TV deal for Leapai's fight against Malik Scott at Logan on Friday means they are in trouble should Leapai lose.
When Leapai injured his calf, forcing a one-week delay in the fight, broadcaster Main Event pulled out of the deal.
The reason being Anthony Mundine fights Sergey Rabchenko on November 12 and it is illegal to have two pay-per-view events within three weeks of each other.
It was too late to cancel or change the Leapai fight however, as Thornberry had already spent $70,000 promoting it.
"We've spent a lot of money marketing and getting it out there," Thornberry said.
"We'll get through this fight.
"Alex has to win."
If Leapai wins and the Logan Metro Sports Centre is sold out they will live to fight another day, with a potentially lucrative pay-cheque awaiting.
But the ramifications of a loss don't bear thinking about.
So it will likely be a very different looking Leapai on Friday to the one who hardly fired a shot in his heavyweight title bout against Wladimir Klitschko in April.
Thornberry certainly hopes so.
"He can't spend all the money in round one," Thornberry said.
"But he's got to take charge of centre ring."
If he does that and proves on his game Thornberry believes Leapai will be "too dynamic" for the 34-year-old American.
If not, Thornberry cannot predict what will follow.
"It's a cross-roads fight for both of them," he said.
"Both are coming back from a loss.
"The winner goes on, the other has to contemplate his future.
"It's a long way back for the loser."
The Lower Tenthill (near Gatton) based Thornberry is confident Leapai will win, based on the change that has come over him following his Klitschko fight hangover.
"He was way down," Thornberry said.
"That comes with the territory of a loss.
"But he's come back and is now in full swing.
"Before that everything he did in the gym it looked like he was doubting himself.
"Then one day he snapped out of it and I said, 'Thank God'.
"That's human nature.
"You've got to conquer yourself before you conquer anyone else."
- Where: Logan Metro Sports Centre (357 Browns Plains Rd, Crestmead)
- When: Friday night (main bout 9.30pm)
- Who: Alex Leapai (Age - 35; Height - 183cm; Reach - 190cm; Pro-record - 36 wins, (13 by ko) 2 losses, 1 draw) v Malik Scott (Age - 34; Height - 193cm; reach - 206cm; pro-record - 30 wins (24 by ko), 5 losses, 3 draws)