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‘Lionheart’ Leapai leaves the ring

Published: 19 February 2016

‘Lionheart’ Leapai leaves the ring
Alex Leapai (centre) with rugby league great Darren Lockyer and Logan Mayor Pam Parker at the 2013 City of Logan Sports Awards.

Heavyweight boxer Alex Leapai has retired, leaving the sport as an inspiration to a generation of Australian fighters.

The 36-year-old from Slacks Creek, nicknamed ‘Lionheart’, became one of Logan’s favourite sons when he emerged as the first Australian in 106 years to challenge for the heavyweight world boxing title.

City of Logan Mayor Pam Parker has paid tribute to Mr Leapai, who was awarded the key to Logan city in 2014.

“Alex will go down in history as one of this country’s greatest boxers and a hero to young athletes in Australia as well as Samoa and the south pacific,” she said.

“His career will be measured on his accomplishments inside the boxing ring, but our community has also embraced Alex for what he has accomplished outside the ring.

“Alex has been a proud ambassador of the City of Logan, a generous and humble person who has always made time for fans and people in our community.

“He was one of the first people to put his name behind Council’s recent campaign against domestic violence but that didn’t surprise anyone; he has always stood up firmly for what he believes in.

“As an athlete, Alex has given his physical all to boxing but I have no doubt that as a mentor to our young people and as an example of how someone can overcome incredible odds, he will continue to inspire people for many years to come.”

Mr Leapai announced his retirement on 18 February after a specialist warned him that he risked losing the sight in one eye if he continued fighting.

He was the first Australian boxer to challenge for the heavyweight world title in over a century when he fought Wladimir Klitsch, ultimately losing by knockout.

Making his debut in 2004, Alex Leapai has ended his career at 30 wins, seven losses and three draws from 40 professional fights.