Heavy-weight wins fight of life

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - NEWS - CHRIS HONNERY

FOR­MER world heavy­weight boxer Alex Lea­pai says he is proof you do not need a fad diet or sup­ple­ments to lose weight.

“The Lion­heart” Lea­pai bal­looned to 153kg at the start of this year fol­low­ing the sud­den death of his dad and men­tor Eli­saia and op­er­a­tions on his cataract-rid­dled eyes last year.

To­day, though, the for­mer No.1 world heavy­weight con­tender is in the best shape of his life, shed­ding 43kg in nine months to pre­pare for his re­turn to the ring on Oc­to­ber 14.

The fa­ther-of-six said that, af­ter reach­ing such a low point in his life, he de­cided to change things around for his chil­dren.

“I used eat­ing as an ex­cuse and I didn’t know it was af­fect­ing my health,” he said.

“It got to a stage where I couldn’t tie my shoelaces and I was re­ally strug­gling.

“It wasn’t just be­ing un­able to tie my shoelaces but run­ning around with my boys and al­ways run­ning out of puff.

“Every­thing was adding up and it was time to make a change and get back to what I do best.”

What he does best is box­ing; re­turn­ing to train­ing with Noel Thorn­berry in prepa­ra­tion for the DDP Sports fight night at the Bris­bane Con­ven­tion & Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre, South Bank, on Oc­to­ber 14.

While celebri­ties such as Pete Evans and Jamie Oliver con­coct con­tro­ver­sial di­ets that claim to help lose weight, Lea­pai said it was bet­ter to just “do things nor­mal”.

“My ad­vice to all those peo­ple who pay a lot of money for sup­ple­ments and all that sort of stuff, I’m not on any of that stuff,” he said.

“I just do it nor­mal. I eat what I eat, like ve­g­ies, and just eat good stuff and train hard. If you mix diet and train­ing it just quick­ens up the process. We can all do it; we can all lose the weight. The first thing is you’ve got to get up and have it in you to want to make a change.

“It’s not only cleared out my mind but men­tally, I’m more fo­cused and more de­ter­mined. I feel a lot bet­ter now that I’ve lost all this weight.”

Lea­pai will come up against New Zealand’s Thomas Peato at the Bris­bane Con­ven­tion Cen­tre on Satur­day night.

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