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Alex Leapai fought for the heavyweight world title. His 120kg footy star son has been training for years. Here's why he's nervous for his boy ahead of his pro boxing debut

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Former heavyweight contender Alex Leapai admits he’s nervous about his footy star son making his professional boxing debut in Adelaide on Wednesday night – despite the fact the teenager has immense power and a great pedigree in the sport.

Alex Leapai Jr will be squaring off with New Zealand’s Joe Ageli on The Gathering Fight Night card, which will also feature a host of former footy stars stepping into the ring in Adelaide on Wednesday night.

The hulking 122kg, 194cm 18-year-old made the decision earlier in the year to walk away from a lucrative footy contract with the Gold Coast Titans and follow in his famous father’s footsteps.

He’s incredibly well equipped to do so, having boxed for years and is so powerful he could squat an incredible 165kg when he was just 13 years old. 

Leapai Sr was beaten by Wladimir Klitschko in a 2014 world title fight – and some good judges in the Australian boxing scene believe the young man will go one better than his old man.

The Gathering is a live and exclusive Pay-Per-View, only on Stan. Go to www.stan.com.au/ppv for more info.

Alex Leapai Sr (pictured right) admits he's a little nervous about his son Alex Junior's first pro fight on Wednesday

Alex Leapai Sr (pictured right) admits he’s a little nervous about his son Alex Junior’s first pro fight on Wednesday

Leapai Jr was a rugby league prodigy and walked away from a contract with the Titans to try to go one better than his dad and win the world heavyweight title

Leapai Jr was a rugby league prodigy and walked away from a contract with the Titans to try to go one better than his dad and win the world heavyweight title

Leapai Sr has every faith in his son’s abilities, but says he’s still on edge about his debut.

‘I’m a bit nervous,’ Leapai told Daily Mail Australia.

‘It’s the heavyweight division and one punch can change the game.

‘And anybody over 100kg hits hard. But he’s trained hard. And he’s ready. He’s ready physically and he’s ready mentally.’

Leapai Sr says the big difference between him and his son is how well the youngster expresses himself.

‘He’s a very smart kid with the way he talks – I always let the hands do the talking.

‘I can tell he’s focused … but whatever happens, happens, and I know he will give it his best.’

 Leapai Jr’s trainer, Noel Thornberry, also coached his father and has been around the family as long as the young boxer can remember.

Leapai Sr is proud of his boy and says he's ready both physically and mentally

Leapai Sr is proud of his boy and says he’s ready both physically and mentally

Leapai Jr’s famous father fought boxing legend Wladimir Klitschko in 2014 for the heavyweight world title (pictured)

Leapai Jr’s famous father fought boxing legend Wladimir Klitschko in 2014 for the heavyweight world title (pictured)

Leapai will take on New Zealand's Joe Ageli (pictured right) on The Gathering Fight Night card

Leapai will take on New Zealand’s Joe Ageli (pictured right) on The Gathering Fight Night card

Thornberry believes Jr has the potential to do at least as well as his father in the fight game – and perhaps take home the heavyweight title.

‘We’re basically family, and it’s a privilege to have a coach like Noel there, and to have dad as my mentor,’ said Leapai Jr.

‘You cant get any better than that.’

Leapai Jr is also grateful for the support of his friends, who still feel obliged to take the mickey out of him when they get a chance.

‘They are stoked for me, but they still make the jokes,’ he laughed.

‘But that’s what mates are there for. I’ve got their full support. It’s great having the same friends I grew up with still there now.’

The Gathering Fight Night is exclusive to Stan Sport, so fans will need an active Stan subscription to watch the event – and you can head here for more info.

FULL THE GATHERING FIGHT CARD

Main Event – Jamal Herring (24-4-0) vs. Jackson England (15-3-0) [Super Featherweight] (WBO Global Super Featherweight title)

Mitch Robinson (debut) vs. Kayne Pettifer (debut) [Cruiserweight]

Jack Brubaker (17-5-2) vs. In Duck Seo (15-3-2) [Super Welterweight]

Kane Cornes (debut) vs. Nathan Brown (debut) [Cruiserweight]

Joel Camilleri (27-8-1) vs. Joel Pavlides (5-2-1) [Middleweight]

Dane Swan (debut) vs. Dale Thomas (debut) [Heavyweight]

Alex Leapal Jnr (debut) vs. Joe Ageli (2-1-0) [Heavyweight]

Anthony Rocca (debut) vs. Corey McKernan (debut) [Heavyweight]

Sergei Vorobev (20-2-0) vs. Wes Capper (22-5-1) [Heavyweight]