Australian Alex Leapai will draw on his experience against former world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko to beat Joseph Parker this weekend.
Parker and Leapai will meet at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island this Saturday night in the first fight of the Kiwi’s three-fight promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing.
Leapai was outclassed by Klitschko in Germany in 2014, who kept him on the end of his punches before lowering the boom in the fifth round.
The 39-year-old Samoan-Australian, who steps in as a late replacement for Eric Molina, knows he will need to be more aggressive against Parker if he wants to breathe life into his stalled career.
“I’m fit, I’ve been training for months hoping to get a big fight and Joseph Parker is in for a big shock,” Leapai told the Daily Telegraph.
“I’m going to put him under a lot of pressure from the opening bell. I’m in good shape and I’m ready to give Joseph Parker the toughest night of his life.”
Leapai gave an honest assessment of his performance against Klitschko, where he failed to let his hands go and appeared overawed to be boxing on the big stage.
It is something he intends to fix against Parker.
“I learned in that fight that I can’t stay back and wait. I have to force the fight from the opening bell and back my power,” Leapai said.
“I’m a big puncher and I have to throw big, heavy punches from the start of the fight to keep my opponent off balance.
“Joe is a real good boxer and a nice guy. But this is my big chance to force my way back in to the world top 10 and I have to make the most of it.”