Today at Germany’s Koenig Pilsener Arena, Wladimir Klitschko showed just how firm his grip over the rest of boxing‘s heavyweight division remains. Klitschko TKO’d Alex Leapai 2:05 into round five of a bout that Klitschko completely controlled from the beginning.
Klitschko retained his IBF, WBO, WBA and IBO heavyweight titles with the win.
The only title remaining for Klitschko to win is the WBC heavyweight title. That title has been held by Wladimir’s brother, Vitali, for years. Recently, Vitali vacated the title and retired from boxing to pursue a political career in his home country of Ukraine.
Bermane Stiverne and Chris Arreola will meet on May 10 for the vacant WBC title, and it’s an easy bet that whoever wins that bout will be boxing Wladimir Klitschko in their next bout.
Klitschko’s primary weapon against Leapai was a 1-2 of left then right that kept landing and kept hurting his opponent.
During round five, this 1-2 sent Leapai stumbling early. Klitschko kept up the assault and another 1-2 soon after sent Leapai to the canvas. When Leapai got up, Klitschko continued to land with his right, using it almost like a hammer trying to nail Leapai back into the mat until one final 1-2 sent Leapai down in a heap. This gave referee Eddie Cotton a perfect opportunity to stop the bout, and he did.
Klitschko scored an earlier knockdown when he sent Leapai to the canvas a little over one minute into the bout.
A couple of short punches to Leapai’s head ended up doing enough where he fell back and to the canvas. Leapai was up immediately and argued briefly with Cotton that he slipped and wasn’t knocked down.
Klitschko came into the bout with a six-inch reach advantage and used that distance to control the bout.
The right jab has always been used constantly by Wladimir during his bouts, and this bout was no exception. What was different, however, was that the rate Klitschko’s 1-2 seemed to be landing appeared to make him a more energized and aggressive boxer than he has been against opponents that are there to be cannon fodder.
Also helping Klitschko find that aggressive streak and wear down Leapai at the same time was the straight right landing for Klitschko just as effectively as his jab was.
Klitschko used his right jab and the 1-2 to keep pressure on Leapai as well as prevent him from throwing anything himself. And that’s exactly what this bout turned out to be: Leapai playing defense while basically acting as a living heavy bag during a day of training for Klitschko.
Leapai ended up landing only 10 punches during the bout.
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Photo Credit: AP
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