Sport

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



Ipswich CBD bank to close for good

CLOSED FOR BUSINESS.

Not enough physical customers to keep doors open

'Ridiculous': Council refuses renovation at heritage home

NOT FAIR: Karen Solomon of Newtown is angry with Ipswich City Council for refusing her plans to build a colonial style double car port at her Newtown home.

Council rejected development application

Council refusal of 'high density' development ends in court

Ipswich City Council first meeting with the new 2016 council.

Developer took the matter to the Queensland Planning Court

Local Partners

Your gig guide to a great night out in Ipswich

The latest on the live music scene across the city.

Dreamworld may supersize with 'Disneyland expansion'

Dreamworld could become a “more attractive and entertaining park”.

Bush balladeer brings bruised blues to Brissie

BRIGHT FUTURE: Jordan Merrick has just released his EP, In Colour.

Singer-songwriter Jordan Merrick on his debut EP, In Colour

Ipswich lad 'Robbo' brings Studio 10 home to Nanna

REUNION: Studio 10 roving reporter David 'Robbo' Robinson broadcast the Channel 10 shows live from Ipswich with his grandmother Jan Wells.

And Eastern Heights fan plays host in the TV thrill of her life

World’s strongest man reveals incredible 12,000 calorie diet

Brian Shaw won his 4th World's Strongest Man title. Source: Twitter

World’s strongest man reveals incredible 12,000-calorie diet

ABC2 slammed over football exhibition match coverage

Fans weren't too happy with ABC2's coverage of Wednesday night's game.

ABC2 slammed for coverage of soccer exhibition match

'Bulls--t!' Lisa Wilkinson grilled over Karl's pay packet

Join us for a Great Night as we Proudly present Lisa Wilkinson

“And you believe everything you read?”

'Ridiculous': Council refuses renovation at heritage home

NOT FAIR: Karen Solomon of Newtown is angry with Ipswich City Council for refusing her plans to build a colonial style double car port at her Newtown home.

Council rejected development application

Council refusal of 'high density' development ends in court

Ipswich City Council first meeting with the new 2016 council.

Developer took the matter to the Queensland Planning Court

Open for inspection homes May 25-31

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!