Wladimir Klitschko will retain his three heavyweight belts after a fifth round KO against Australia’s first challenger in 106 years, Alex Leapai.
Wladimir Klitschko was his usual hovering and dominant self, easily controlling Alex Leapai with his jab and toying with him till a fifth round KO ended the fight and his 16th straight title defence.
Klitschko faced hardly any opposition from the Samoan-born Australian, the only time Leapai managed to land a good hit and wobble Klitschko it triggered a brutal retaliation from the champ that ended the fight.
Leapai went down at 60 seconds into the opening round after Klitschko landing with two quick blows and by the second Klitschko was landing shots at will.
Leapai went down again in the fifth to a left-right combination but managed to stagger back up before Klitschko dropped him again and referee Eddie Cotton waved the fight off without completing the count.
The 34-year-old Leapai who had promised to knock Klitschko out said after the fight, “I’m alright, I want to thank Wladimir for the opportunity, he showed why he’s the champion. I tried to get inside but Wladimir kept sticking the jab out. It’s not the end of the road, I’ll be back.”
Klitschko responded, “You gave everything, respect.”
Klitschko’s brother Vitali said, “It was textbook fighting by Wladimir. He did not make a mistake.”
Though the surprise contendor never stood much of chance he lived up to his nickname “The Lionheart” soaking up Klitschko’s punches as he kept pushing forward looking for a chance to land his big punch.
While both fighters weighed in at 112kgs Klitschko has had just over double the victories and had a 15cm height advantage over Leapai, using his tried and tested game plan of staying just out of reach while using his deadly accuracy.
Leapai, who before this fight was working as a driver while boxing, has never faced an opponent of the quality of Klitschko, who hasn’t lost since 2004.
He became the mandatory challenger after he defeated Denis Boytsov who had been the mandatory challenger and chose to have a warm up bout with Leapai, the upset victory giving Leapai this chance.
Written by Daniel Whyntie