Sport

Leapai title fight deal close

MAIN OBSESSION: Noel Thornberry is training Alex Leapai for the world heavyweight title.
MAIN OBSESSION: Noel Thornberry is training Alex Leapai for the world heavyweight title. Rob Williams

UPDATE, 12PM: The Alex Leapai fight has been confirmed for Germany on April 26.

GATTON boxing trainer Noel Thornberry says an announcement on where Alex Leapai will fight for the world heavyweight boxing title will be made within the next 24 to 48 hours.

"We've agreed in principle," Thornberry said.

"I'm just waiting for the terms and conditions.

"I expect a draft copy shortly."

Thornberry is more than your average boxing trainer.

Your average boxing trainer hasn't trained two world champions and possibly a third come April.

But that's not it either.

Thornberry doubles as negotiator for number one contender Alex Leapai.

He also owns a real estate business and runs a farm.

But make no mistake, boxing is his obsession.

"I used to dream about it when I was a kid," he said.

"I never read a comic book. I don't think I ever read a school book either."

Instead, it was boxing magazines he read.

"I was fascinated going back to guys like (Rocky) Marciano and (Joe) Walcott," Thornberry said.

It led to an obsession to one day be a world champion himself.

"I wanted it more than most people who've got it," he said. "I would lie in bed and think so much about it, I would be sweating."

It was not to be, however.

The number two ranked middle weight in Australia was as high as he got before he realised his future lay in training.

His little brother Ricky was the catalyst.

Perhaps if he'd had someone like himself to train him, it would have been different.

"I used to train under a tree in the backyard with a carton of beer beside me," Noel said.

"I had no guidance. Then Rick said he wanted to give it a good dig."

Thornberry found he was well suited to training.

"My mind was so much on sport, and the sport of boxing," he said.

"I was always finding ways to exploit an opponent's weakness and increase our own strengths. It was in my interest to become as good a trainer as I could because of my brother."

Leapai has been the most recent beneficiary of Thornberry's obsession and will fight Wladimir Klitschko for the WBO heavyweight title in Europe in April.

Topics:  alex leapai, noel thornberry, wbo, wladimir klitschko



Driver assaulted, threatened with knife before being robbed

Thieves stole wallet and laptop computer from motorist

Grace Grace explains racing finances

GOOD OIL: Racing Minister Grace Grace (left) has unveiled the financials of the racing industry.

Ipswich Turf Club will know by March about future funding

Baden-Clay decision shows appeal judges are 'out of touch'

Citing the Court of Appeal’s decision to downgrade Gerard Baden-Clay’s (pictured) murder conviction to manslaughter, Judge Clive Wall says “too much emphasis” is placed on offenders by the Court of Appeal.

Judge says some colleagues are touch with victims, community.

Local Partners

Calm, raw, moody Ella unleashes 'Evil Child'

TALENT: Ella Metherell is this week's featured artist in our Emerge series. Click on the QR codes below to hear her song and interview.

More video and audio on Emerge artists at qt.com.au

The Dixie Chicks to headline 2017 CMC Rocks festival

US country music group The Dixie Chicks.

ORGANISERS move festival dates to lock in US country music stars.

What's on the big screen this week

Denzel Washington in a scene from the movie The Magnificent Seven.

DENZEL Washington returns in a shoot-em-up Western.

Our funny bachelor bows out

The Bachelorette contestant Aaron Brady from Golden Beach. Supplied by Channel 10.

COAST marketing executive eliminated from The Bachelorette.

Homer Simpson thanks Australia during Opera House visit

Homer Simpson visits the Sydney Opera House.

ANIMATION favourite gets attacked by seagulls in viral video.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Housing report points to a lift in local market

AFFORDABLE HOMES: First home buyers have the opportunity to purchase modern new homes in the Ipswich region for under $400,000.

Region shaping up as the "final frontier” for affordable housing

Five ways to slash household bills and save the environment

THINK GREEN: Considering the environment when building or buying your next home can save you big dollars. The Village Building Company, who is responsible for Woodlinks Village at Collingwood Park, builds homes with this front of mind.

THERE is nothing as sweet as slashing dollars from your bills.

Investors out-bid first-home buyers in booming market

Housing generic.

Ipswich's housing market is putting more cash into sellers’ pockets

Another Ripley development

THE ENTRANCE: An overview of the last planned development for the fast growing Ripley area.

85 more home lots released

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.