Wladimir Klitschko Claims 17th Consecutive Title Defense in Germany

By Mike Fridley Apr 26, 2014
Alex Leapai was unable to dethrone Wladimir Klitschko. | Photo: Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty



Wladimir Klitschko’s dominance of boxing’s heavyweight division continues.

Using a steady diet of jabs and sneaky right hands, Klitschko put away Alex Leapai at the 2:05 mark of round five following two knockdowns. Referee Eddie Cotton did not bother to count the Samoan out after his second meeting with the canvas.

Compubox total punch statistics showed the champion outlanded his foe 147 to 10.

“I’m surprised Leapai landed that many,” said ESPN boxing analyst and trainer Teddy Atlas on the North American television broadcast. “I did not see them.”

Neither did many in attendance in Oberhausen, Germany; Klitschko’s performance was that one-sided.

From the opening bell, Klitschko seized control of the bout with his height and reach advantages. The 6-foot-6, 243-pound Ukrainian kept his prey at bay with a barrage of jabs from confusing angles. Using smooth footwork and head movement against his much smaller opponent, it appeared that Leapai did not as much graze the face of the champion.

Leapai, who weighed in at 248 pounds Friday -- the heaviest tally of his career -- simply had no answers for the arsenal of Klitschko. The 38-year-old champion seemed content to pepper his challenger from a safe range on the outside through the first four rounds. In the fifth, it was evident that the heavyweight kingpin smelled blood in the water.

Klitschko pinned his ears back and calmly upped the ante with one-two punching combinations until Leapai’s fate was sealed. Straight rights were the cause of both knockdowns.

It was the 20th straight victory and 17th consecutive title defense for Klitschko, who owns the WBA, IBF, WBO, IBO and The Ring world champion titles. Only boxing icons Joe Louis (25) and Larry Holmes (20) defended the heavyweight title more.

“I’ve been coming up against some very good people,” stated Klitschko, who upped his record to 62-4. “And I feel very good at 38.”

Late last year, Klitschko made mainstream news headlines while appearing at a political protest in his homeland with fiancé Hayden Panettiere (of NBC's Heroes fame) at his side. Despite his acceptance of such a visual role with the Ukrainian public, the focused star had little to say of the unrest currently unfolding in the region in his post-fight interview.

“I’ve just always come to train; it’s not an issue for me,” said Klitschko of the political turmoil. “My brother [retired boxing champion Vitali Klitschko] and I do not see that much [media coverage], so I could keep my head in the fight.”

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