Boxing


Exclusive: Travis Walker Talks About His Amazing War With Alex Leapai - "I Knew That Fight Was Beautiful"

by James Slater - There is currently a heavyweight boxing classic all but hidden away on You Tube; a heavyweight slugfest so good, watching it brings back memories of the unforgettable George Foreman-Ron Lyle war from 1976.

Travis "Freight Train" Walker of the U.S faced Australian big man Alex Leapai on June 30th, in Brisbane, Australia, and the four action-filled rounds the battle produced are well worth checking out right now on the aforementioned site that is You Tube..

Both men, in slow-motion, I'll hit you, you hit me fashion, simply stood and traded bombs. Walker was down in the opening seconds of the 1st, Leapai was down in the 3rd and the action in the 2nd and 4th-rounds was also frenetic. The only thing that spoilt the fight was the premature ending, at 2 mins and 52-seconds of the 4th-round.

After Walker had spent long seconds bludgeoning Leapai in the 4th-round, to the point where the Aussie commentators were openly wondering if the referee, Cyril Caims, should stop the fight, the third man in the ring instead opted to dive in and rescue Walker after he'd been far less hurt from a gutsy Leapai rally.

Fans immediately spoke of a rematch, but, as 31-year-old Walker explained to me in the interview he was kind enough to give me over the phone, this looks doubtful.

Here is what Travis, now 34-5-1(28) had to say about his incredible, albeit losing, battle with the 30-year-old Samoan who improved to 19-3-3(15) with his breathtaking win.


James Slater: It's great to speak with you, Travis. That amazing fight on June 30th was an absolute slugfest. First of all, how annoyed were you at the clearly premature stoppage?

Travis Walker: I was and am very upset. I was very hurt by that loss.

J.S: The obvious logical thing to do, being how the fight was so great and also so prematurely stopped, is to have a rematch.

T.W: I'd love to do a rematch, but I've already had word that he [Leapai] won't do it. I'd go back to Australia very fast, very fast.

J.S: That's a real shame, he must see you as too dangerous for a second time. I mean, the first fight was truly special - he had you down, you had him down.....

T.W: (jumping in) He hit me to the back of the head to put me down.

J.S: In the 1st-round, that was a punch to the back of the head?

T.W: Yeah.

J.S: How do you rate Leapai's power, though, his right hand?

T.W: He's got decent power, I'll give him that. He has good hooks and good power. He was a good opponent, strong and he was willing and he came to fight. But there are things he needs to work on.

J.S: He's down as facing Owen Beck next. How do you see that one going?

T.W: I really don't know. I hope he wins.

J.S: The June 30th fight was your first ever in Australia, correct?

T.W: Yeah, my first one.

J.S: How did you like boxing in Australia? You sure gave the crowd their money's worth; ten time's their money's worth!

T.W: Australia was very beautiful and I was treated very good there, very good. The fans, I believe I got the respect of a lot of them. I've had e-mails and messages from people, telling me they saw it [the fight] and how much they enjoyed it.

J.S: When you're in a fight like that, do you know how special it is, or are you in the zone, and simply focused on winning?

T.W: I knew that that fight was beautiful [at the time]. But also, I was so determined to get the win, because a win would've put me back in contention. I needed that win badly and that's what hurt me so bad - having it taken away from me like that.

J.S: You've given us some excellent action fights, Travis - the last one and also the slugfest with Chris Arreola. And you've also beaten good guys like Jason Estrada. How much do you think you have left to offer at age 31?

T.W: I have a lot left to offer. If the right fight comes, I'll take it. But it's gonna be hard for me to get that type of fight, one where a win will get me back up there.

J.S: Well, it's been great speaking with you, Travis. I hope you can get a rematch with Leapai, maybe things will change. It was a privilege watching that fight and I hope you get a break.

T.W: Thank you.

Article posted on 15.07.2010



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