Australian heavyweight Alex Leapai says he will consider hanging up the gloves if he loses his first fight since his shattering defeat to Wladimir Klitschko.
For his career’s sake, Australian heavyweight Alex Leapai will need to beat American opponent Malik Scott to the punch the next time they meet – just as he did at Wednesday’s press conference.
Ahead of his first bout since his shattering loss to Wladimir Klitschko in April, Leapai admitted he would consider hanging up the gloves if he lost to Scott.
Leapai will fight Scott, a man whose latest claim is being the world champion’s sparring partner, on October 24 in Brisbane.
Moments after Leapai broached the subject of hanging up the gloves, flamboyant Dennis Rodman lookalike Scott vowed to retire if he lost for just the third time in his 40-fight career.
Leapai, 34, became the first Australian to fight for the world heavyweight title in 106 years when he took on Klitschko.
It was a remarkable feat considering Leapai was serving a six-month jail sentence in Brisbane for assault when Klitschko won his first world title in 2006.
But Leapai received a sobering reality check when he was stopped in the fifth round, extending Klitschko’s 10-year unbeaten run.
“This will pretty much determine my future in boxing,” Leapai said.
“(But) I believe in second chances.
“I got one in life and now I get one in boxing as well.
“I want to push for a world title again and to get there I have to beat this gentleman here.”
But quietly-spoken Leapai was not so polite as the press conference wore on as the outspoken but world-class Scott gave a compelling argument why he would defeat the Australian after getting sparring tips from Klitschko.
“I will knock him out,” an irritated Leapai later vowed.
Scott interjected: “Uh, oh. There he said it, he promised a knock out – and you were doing so well Alex.”
Leapai’s trainer Noel Thornberry admitted his charge would need to reconsider his future if he suffered another loss.
“This will be the most significant heavyweight fight ever staged on Australian soil since the world championship fight in 1908,” he said.
“It’s a crossroads bout for both guys.
“One is going to go straight back into international contention, the other is probably going to ponder his future.”
Thornberry said Leapai (30 wins, five losses, three draws) would go back to the “old school” big hitting style that earned him a world title shot.
Scott – who went 36 fights unbeaten – lost his last bout in a controversial first round knockout by Deontay Wilder in Puerto Rico in March.
“I have never spoken about retirement in my life but on October 24 I will stop Leapai or retire,” Scott said.
“I look good but I am 33. I want to have sex with beautiful women and distribute great cigars throughout the world – I can’t do that by constantly fighting.”