The October 31 heavyweight clash between Alex Leapai (30-5-3, 24 KOs) and Malik Scott (36-2-1, 13 KOs) at the Logan Metro Sports Centre in Crestmead, Queensland, Australia is a “must win” bout for the two recently-bludgeoned contenders and it’s being treated as such by both.
Heavy-handed Australian former truck driver, Leapai is vowing a do or die effort against American Malik Scott in this bout which may decide the fate of the 34-year-old’s fighting future.
“This will pretty much determine my future in boxing,” Leapai told the media. “(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…I will knock him out.”
Leapai’s last bout was an ugly, one-sided five-round beating suffered at the hands of defending world heavyweight champ, Wladimir Klitschko in April. The bout, widely-regarded as a major mismatch before the opening bell, proved to be an embarrassing showcase for all those involved and was thankfully stopped after five rounds.
As for Scott,33, the tattooed American also tasted controversy in his last bout– a first round knockout loss in March at the hands of friend Deontay Wilder that many say came from what looked to be a phantom punch.
Scott, however, is also quite aware that this may be his last chance to shine on the world stage and that a win over Leapai will go a long way towards distancing himself from the Wilder fiasco.
“He’s [Leapai] a strong, strong short powerful guy,” Scott told Dan Smart of Aus-Boxing.com “We have a lot to prove after our last fights, it’s a crossroads fight for both of us.”
“This is my first step to redemption, so here we go,” Scott added. “In fact, if I don’t win, I’m gonna retire. The problem is when guys start losing to B and C minus guys they should retire. I’m fighting at a top level, the type of guys I’m fighting are considered heavyweight champion material.”
The term “crossroads fight” is overused these days in boxing, but it fits perfectly with this particular puncher vs. boxer showdown. The winner of Leapai-Scott will stay afloat in the deep waters of the heavyweight top 10. The loser will find himself set adrift at sea.