Leapai's parents, Faataui and Leitu, moved their family from Laulii, Samoa when he was 7 to New Zealand, where they lived until he was 12. In New Zealand, Leapai attended Owairaka Primary School in Mt Albert and played rugby league for Marist Saints, as did his one-time sparring partner Sonny Bill Williams. Upon moving to Australia, Leapai's family settled in Logan, Queensland. In Logan, Leapai played junior rugby league for Logan Brothers alongside future Australian rugby league and rugby union international Lote Tuqiri. While playing for Brothers, Leapai was offered a scholarship with the National Rugby League side, the North Queensland Cowboys.
Leapai has four brothers, Leati, Stefano and Faatni (known as Leroy), who spent four years with the London Broncos in the English Super League. His cousin is Australia and Queensland representative Josh Papalii.
Leapai is married to his high school sweetheart, Theresa, and has six children. Four daughters (Cyanne, Maria, Menime and Ivona) and two sons (Alex and EJ).
In 2005, Leapai spent six months in Queensland's Woodford Correctional Centre on a grievous bodily harm charge after attacking two bouncers.
An avid rugby league fan, Leapai supports the Brisbane Broncos.
Leapai's inspiration is fellow Samoan heavyweight boxer David Tua
Alex Leapai defeated Denis Boytsov on 23 November 2013 in Germany. Boytsov was the WBO's mandatory challenger for Klitschko, but when Leapai defeated Boytsov, Leapai was named mandatory challenger even though the Boytsov-Leapai bout was not an official elimination bout.
Dan Rafael for ESPN.com reported on 3 February 2014 that "Heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko will make his 16th title defense when he faces Alex Leapai, one of his mandatory challengers, on April 26 in at the König-Pilsener-Arena in Oberhausen, Germany, as K2 Promotions announced Monday. The Klitschko and Leapai camps had agreed to a deal several weeks ago, which allowed them to avoid a purse bid, but it has now been signed. Leapai (30-4-3, 24 KOs), 34, a native of Samoa living in Australia, came out of nowhere to be appointed as the mandatory challenger by the WBO after scoring a major upset."
Lead-up In the lead-up to Leapai’s Heavyweight World Championship contention on April 27, 2014 Leapai was dubbed the ultimate underdog. Just eight years earlier, as Wladimir Klitschko (Leapai’s opponent) first claimed the title, the Samoan-born Australian was serving six months in prison after bashing four bouncers outside a nightclub in Brisbane. The same temper that led to Leapai’s arrest had also ruined a promising rugby league career that started roughly 15 years prior. As a young man, Leapai had a scholarship with the North Queensland Cowboys that ended when he punched other players on the field while competing in the under 19s. Leapai then pushed the referee when he was sent off and was subsequently given a five-year ban from the sport before he took to drugs and alcohol in an attempt to “escape” his rage. Comparisons between the “machine-like”, “Dr Steelhammer” Ukrainian superstar and the stocky truck driver with a colourful background led media outlets to compare “The Lionheart” Leapai with Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa character. However, styles were not the only similarity between Balboa and Leapai. Like Balboa, Leapai was always the ‘underdog’ in the lead-up to his title fight. The Ukrainian had the advantage of experience, reach, age and weight, not to mention the fact that Leapai was the first Australian to fight for the heavyweight world title in 106 years.
Politics Despite the fact that Klitschko possessed an overwhelming advantage over his challenger, the Ukrainian was quoted as saying the bout was “the most important fight of my career” due to the political backdrop of the encounter from a Ukrainian point of view. Early in 2014 Russia took the Crimea from the Ukraine and consequently, both nations were mobilising for the possibility of war in the short term. Vladmir’s brother Vitali Klitschko was preparing to run for the Ukrainian presidency in looming May elections and the 37-year-old title holder admitted boxing was second in his mind to the political upheaval in his homeland. As the fight Klitschko claimed the spectacle would be ever important to “boost the morale” of his countrymen.
Former heavyweight world champion Shannon Briggs interrupted a pre-fight press conference in Germany just days before the anticipated bout only adding to the drama that characterised the title fight. Briggs challenged Klitschko for a fight and accused Leapai of being an unworthy opponent for the Ukrainian before the Queenslander and challenger were both restrained by security.
Result Leapai was knocked out by Klitschko in the fifth round of a fight scheduled for 12 rounds. The Queenslander was knocked down barely more than a minute into the title fight in Oberhausen Germany as Klitschko continued his 10-year winning streak. Klitschko retained his IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO championship belts and used his height and reach advantage to control the fight with Leapai. Leapai reportedly rattled his opponent once in the fight before Klitschko responded with a flurry of blows that eventually dropped the Australian to the canvas.WBO Asia Pacific heavyweight title
WBO Oriental heavyweight title
IBF Australasian heavyweight title
OPBF heavyweight title