AS NOEL Thornberry and boxer Alex Leapai board a flight to Germany this evening, they do so with the belief it is their time.

Few give Leapai a chance of returning from the April 26 bout against defending champion Wladimir Klitschko with the world heavyweight title.

But trainer Thornberry is confident the next time he sets sights on the Lockyer Valley, where he lives at Lower Tenthill with his wife and five children, it will be as the trainer of the reigning world champion.

"He's on fire," Thornberry said of Leapai this week.

It has been a campaign affected by injury and endless media commitments that come from being the first Aussie to contest a world heavyweight title but Thornberry says they have overcome the challenges and Leapai is ready to knock out a man who hasn't been beaten in 10 years.

"If it has affected him, you can't see it," Thornberry said.

"He's one of those blokes who likes being with his family."

As does Thornberry. Which is why they will be glad when the fight is over.

"Absolutely," Thornberry said. "We want to get over there, have a win and come home to our kids."

Leapai has six children and, his trainer jokes, between them they have a soccer team in the making.

Both sets of children have learned that when their dads are preparing for a big fight, they won't see much of them.

"They understand it has to be done," Thornberry said.

"Both boxer and trainer crave a return to normality but, if Leapai wins, he may never experience normal again.

Underdog Bites

What's on the line?

World WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles.

Where is the fight?

Oberhausen, Germany (50km from Dutch border).

When?

April 26.

Why Leapai can win?

He is young, hungry, powerful and unorthodox. Klitschko is past his prime and has never met an opponent like Leapai.



Penalty shootout thriller after club’s turbulent time

premium_icon Penalty shootout thriller after club’s turbulent time

Western Spirit’s turbulent week ended with a gutsy penalty win.

Meet One Nation’s candidate for Bundamba by-election

premium_icon Meet One Nation’s candidate for Bundamba by-election

The candidate described her tilt as a chance to send the major parties a clear...

Mum on pension caught with $2000 in ice

premium_icon Mum on pension caught with $2000 in ice

Magistrate horrified over woman’s costly drug bust