Ready to rumble
AUSTRALIAN Heavyweight Alex Leapai yesterday had some choice words for boxing legend “Aussie” Joe Bugner.
“I was 108kg for my last fight and down to 102kg today so I'm ready to fight,” he said, in retaliation to comments made by Bugner to the Tweed Daily News (25/08) regarding Leapai's fitness and dedication to the sport.
“I've trained hard; in fact I never stopped after my last fight, including solid sparring sessions with Ben Edwards (who knocked out John Hopoate in one round).
“I'm as ready as Joe ever was.”
The Australian No.1's comments come ahead of his headline bout on Jamie Myer's “Heavyweight Destroyers” fight card at the Tweed Heads Coolangatta Golf Club tonight.
There he is set to trade blows with New Zealand enforcer Hiriwa Te Rangi over 10 rounds.
The first time the pair met, Leapai recovered from a second round 8-count to end the fight by TKO in round four.
Since then though, Te Rangi has fought most of the big names in Australian boxing.
While Leapai knows he's in for a tussle, he promises to vent his animosity towards no-show American Cliff Couser on the mohawked Kiwi.
“I was really looking forward to fighting the American and am extremely disappointed he never showed, but that's boxing,” he said.
“I'm thankful for Hiriwa for taking the fight; he is the only one in the Pacific willing to fight me on short notice.
“But I feel a little sorry for him because I'm going to take out my frustrations towards Couser on him.”
However Te Rangi, who is also professional mixed martial artist, has other ideas.
“I'm feeling pretty good about the fight - I'm as fit as I ever have been,” he said.
“I'm a fighter inside and out and have never turned a fight down.
“I like to hurt people as best I can and the fans love it, because I love to entertain. I'm one of those people who doesn't predict what's going to happen but rather do my talking in the ring.”
The professional undercards to the fight are set to showcase the Tweed's two best fighters - Casey Hannan and Trevor Jacky.
Both 2008 Queensland Golden Gloves champions take on State-rated opponents.
Hannan, who celebrated his 21st birthday on Monday night sweating it out at the Tweed PCYC, faces Queensland No.4 welterweight Adam King from Brisbane. King, also a rated kick boxer, has a 1-1 record from two bouts.
He lost on points on debut to former NRL star Joey Williams at Redfern in February before beating State No.6 Ashley Humble.
Hannan's gym mate Jacky, 29, who is making his debut in the punch-for-pay ranks, meets Queensland No.9 Marlon Toby from Ipswich in a light heavyweight four-rounder. Toby has had nine professional bouts and has fought some of Australia's best prospects.
In his last bout, he upset Fred Nagy from the powerful Billy Hussein stable in Sydney.Tweed fighters on bill
THE eight bout undercard features some of the best fighters from the NSW Northern Coast and South East Queensland over three-three minute rounds. The amateur running order (red corner v blue corner) is: Bout 1 75kg Tim McPhie (Elovate, Varsity Lakes) V Sam Millar (Tweed PCYC) Bout 2 69kg Luke Hall (Ballina) V Jez Glynn (Elovate, Varsity Lakes) Bout 3 69kg Brad Sanders (Ballina) V Jarrod (Chubbys Champions, Mudgerreba) Bout 4 69kg Nick Sutherland (Ashmore PCYC) V Grant Anderson (Elovate, Varsity Lakes) Bout 5 63kg Rhen Nealon (Ballina) V Darcy Lejuge (Murwillumbah) Bout 6 63kg Dan Beverly (Casino) V Tom Strain (Tweed PCYC) Bout 7 63kg Clint Cootes (Kurbingi, Brisbane) V Jay Slate (Elovate, Varsity Lakes) Bout 8 75kg Will Parsons (Ashmore PCYC) V Dwayne Good (Australian Indigenous Champion -Tweed PCYC)