Trainers have all sorts of strange methods for preparing their fighters. Alex Leapai's trainer Noel Thornberry is no different. Few expect the Samoan heavyweight to wrest the IBO, WBO, WBA and IBF belts from Klitschko, but Thornberry is stacking the deck as much in his fighter's favor as he can.
The Herald Sun reports that Thornberry has Leapai adjusting to the timezone of Oberhausen, Germany by training in the middle of the night. Starting at 2am, Leapai will be sparring and hitting the pads a half hour earlier every night until 11pm Oberhausen time feels as much like 11pm Brisbane time as possible.Thornberry has confidence that the technique will work after having used it to prepare Leapai for his last win, a 10-round unanimous decision over Denis Boytsov that also took place in Germany.
Unfortunately for Leapai, his Oberhausen hotel doesn't have adequate training facilities, so he's been putting in work in a rearranged conference room.
Thornberry attributes this acclimatization, in addition to better nutrition and strength/conditioning methods, to what he calls Leapai's "first-ever proper preparation for a fight." It's the kind of dedication that almost makes you believe that "Lionheart" can be the first man to topple Klitschko from his long-held throne--until you remember all the all-too-similar men who have failed before him.
Klitschko and Leapai fight this Saturday. Stay tuned to Bad Left Hook for all your coverage in the week leading up to the fight, and live coverage during the event.