Australia’s Alex Leapai says he may have to resort to dirty tricks to dethrone heavyweight world champion Wladimir Klitschko in Germany this weekend.
Temporary night owl Alex Leapai is prepared to resort to dubious tactics to counter multiple world heavyweight boxing champion Wladimir Klitschko and is blanking out the pressure of the big bout.
Leapai is training around either side of midnight local time this week to prepare himself for the fight, which is expected to start just before that time on Saturday.
Klitschko is tipped to try to employ holding tactics to frustrate the powerful punching but much smaller Australian in their title fight in Oberhausen early Sunday (AEST).
“My biggest concern is that Klitschko tries to take liberties in as far as holding,” Leapai’s trainer Noel Thornberry said.
Queenslander Leapai made it clear he was also prepared to push the boundaries to pull off what would be a massive upset result.
“I’m a clean fighter, I’m no mug, I stick by the rules,” Leapai told the Australian media in Germany.
“But I feel that once Klitschko feels what I’ve got, his game plan is going to go out the window and he’s going to fight to survive.
“If we’ve got to do those little dirty tricks, that’s what we’ve got to do to win.
“But we’re going to fight really smart for this one. We’ve got to make sure everything is spot on.”
Leapai is showing no outward signs of pressure as the biggest day of his boxing life looms.
“Honestly, it still feels normal to me,” he said.
“I don’t know what it is with me but I’m just pretty good at controlling everything.
“I know there’s a lot of pressure on this fight. I’ll blank it all out.
“I don’t want to think too hard about the fight because we’re not fighting the fight now.”
While Klitschko’s style is not universally admired – and is even considered boring in some quarters – Leapai is convinced his own aggressive intent will delight fight fans.
“I think I’ve got that type of style that really brings boxing back to life and on Saturday everybody is going to see that style,” Leapai said.
Leapai constantly refers to Australia, New Zealand and Samoa, the three countries he has lived in.
He believes a win over Klitschko would pundits to into greater recognition of the Oceania region’s boxing credentials.
“They never think there’s any fighters there, but they are going to be shocked,” Leapai said.