Leapai has the key
Published: 02 May 2014
A crowd of hundreds roared with excitement as Logan's lionheart took to the stage on Friday 2 May.
While Alex Leapai may not have won his battle again Wladimir Klitschko, it was clear he had won the heart of his city.
The Slacks Creek father of six was speechless as Mayor Pam Parker presented him with the Key to Logan City.
"Alex is a proud and humble man who fights passionately for what he believes in," Cr Parker said.
"He puts the needs and hopes of others before himself, he never shies away from a challenge, and he picks himself up and dusts himself off when life knocks him down."
Councillor Steve Swenson spoke similarly of Leapai, saying, "We are here this morning to celebrate not only one of the finest athletes this city has produced, but also one of the nicest and most genuine people you will ever be blessed to meet."
Standing alongside the heavyweight champion was his long-time manager and friend Phil Murphy.
"Alex is a humble, loving person; an infectious human being and just a beautiful, beautiful man," Phil said.
"His dedication to what he wants to do is mind-boggling. His mind, attitude and positive approach to life will never change and that's what makes his story so infectious.
"Alex will get alongside anyone that requires or asks for help – he'll be there."
Leapai's youngest son, Alex Jnr., opened the event playing the conch shell, while a wealth of Logan talent headlined the celebrations.
Woodridge State High School students performed cultural Samoan dances as the crowd cheered them on, and even Mayor Pam Parker got involved, trying to learn the moves as she joined in on the celebrations.
The boxer gave more than an hour of his time after the ceremony to meet and greet with his fans, young and old, and posed with a life size cut-out of himself.
But despite all the attention, Leapai's message to his young fans was simple.
"You should never give up, no matter what obstacles are in your path," he said.
"Keep going, make the right choices and believe in yourself. We all win and we all lose, but we've got to get back on the horse and keep going."
Leapai will become the inaugural inductee in Council's Sporting Hall of Fame, to be officially launched at the Logan Metro Sports Centre later this year.