Coach confident of Leapai's hitting power against Klitschko

READY: Lower Tenthill boxing trainer Noel Thornberry is preparing Alex Leapai for the world heavyweight title bout in April.
READY: Lower Tenthill boxing trainer Noel Thornberry is preparing Alex Leapai for the world heavyweight title bout in April. Rob Williams

NOEL Thornberry has 15 weeks to get Alex Leapai ready for the biggest fight in Australian heavyweight boxing history.

On April 26 Leapai will fight Wladimir Klitschko for the WBO title and Gatton-based trainer Thornberry is delighted with where Leapai is at this stage of his preparation.

He is still overcoming a calf tear sustained in his previous fight, a unanimous points defeat of the former number one-ranked contender Denis Boston, which earned Leapai his shot.

But Thornberry's only concern is keeping Leapai off the calf long enough to ensure he doesn't re-injure it.

"He's training nearly as hard now as before the Boston fight," Thornberry said.

That is despite being unable to do any work that will strain his calf.

Instead, he is doing core work, hydrotherapy and bag work without moving his feet, for now.

Thornberry has no doubt he will be ready for the fight of his life.

"A lot of people don't realise Alex has never had a full training camp," the trainer said. "Because he can't get any sparring partners.

"He smashes them."

To overcome that Thornberry is ensuring Leapai will have suitable sparring partners in the same mould as Klitschko- that is, 198cm tall.

Even if that means flying them over from the US.

"Sparring is the key," Thornberry said.

"That's where you get your timing and distance.

"When you can punch as hard as Leaped you can clean anybody up."

Yet Klitschko has made a career out of not letting anyone get into position to be able to clean him up, using his massive reach to remain at distance or his well-honed holding technique if anyone tries to get on his inside.

The eight-and-a-half years Klitschko has held his title is the second longest in history, after Joe Louis' 11-years-and-eight-months reign. But Thornberry believes he is beatable.

"Everyone gives him centre ring," the trainer said.

"You've got to back him up and fight your own fight.

"People have said Klatsch will outbox him. But it is not going to be a boxing contest.

"Alex has got to fight.

"Klatsch will try to shut him down. He'll rip his head down and stand over him.

"But lately he's been fighting small men, compared to Alex."

What makes a good boxer? Self-belief

What is the highlight of your training career? When my brother and Maselino Masoe won world titles. But seeing Alex beat Denis Boystov was right up there.

What is your biggest concern about Leapai fighting Klitschko? That he'll be able to hang on and tie Alex up. He's like an octopus.

Topics:  alex leapai heavyweight boxing noel thornberry wbo wladimir klitschko

Supercell hailstorm to smash city 'biggest this year'

WEATHER: Thunderstorms will hit the Central and North Burnett for the rest of the week.

Storm with stretch from Dalby to Brisbane

Safety fears for kids waiting for bus by busy road

DANGEROUS: There is no designated bus stop off the busy Gatton-Laidley Road.

Concerns have been raised for school children catching bus.

Paramedics called to more than 500 snake bites this year

Mr Hebbron warned people to be cautious when working outdoors or traversing in a snake's habitat, such as when out bushwalking.

VIDEO: QAS offers warning for residents as injuries rise

Local Partners

Workmates honour crash victim with tribute

UPDATE: Tanya Lyell is being remembered as a young mother dedicated to her family and work as the town she called home mourns its loss.

WATCH: NASA space station is live, see the view from above

In this picture taken from NASA's International Space Station from April 2015, the SpaceX Dragon is captured with the 57.7-foot-long Canadarm2 robotic arm before its installation to the Harmony module.

See the world from a new perspective as space station passes Rocky

Artist feeds us pop straight from heart

FEED THE BEAST: Singer-songwriter Emma Dean is this week's featured artist.

Emerge's Calen Le Couteur recently caught up with Emma Dean

Your guide to a great night out in Ipswich

Dennis Knight and the Black Cats play Club Services Ipswich Saturday night

Check out some live entertainment this weekend

Tom Cruise credits success to Scientology

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise credits his success to Scientology

Hacksaw Ridge leads AACTA Awards nominations

Andrew Garfield and Teresa Palmer in a scene from the movie Hacksaw Ridge.

MEL Gibson's wartime drama opens in cinemas next week.

ABBA to reunite for virtual live experience


ABBA have confirmed they are to reunite - in virtual reality form

Hugh Laurie receives star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Hugh Laurie on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Hugh Laurie and his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Blake Lively hosts 40th party for Ryan Reynolds

Blake Lively throws husband Ryan Reynold's 40th birthday bash

What's on the big screen this week

Benedict Cumberbatch in a scene from the movie Doctor Strange.

MARVEL'S latest superhero Doctor Strange makes his debut.

Tough times in CBD: Woolies says goodbye Ipswich

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Is Woolworths departure good news for Ipswich CBD?

Artist impression of the Ipswich Mall for the rejuvenation project to be undertaken by Ipswich City Properties

Council is on track to release a detailed plan before December

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

How to fit 100,000 new homes on the Coast

Property, real estate, housing, suburb,  August 2016

Fitting 2m extra people in south-east Qld in 25 years a balance

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?