The undisputed heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko convincingly retained his world titles with a fifth round knock-out of the Australian challenger Alex Leapai on Saturday at the Koenig Pilsener Arena in Düsseldorf, Germany.
In what turned out to be an incredibly one-sided bout, the 38-year-old Ukrainian tore apart his opponent to ensure he remained as The Ring, WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight title holder.
Almost without breaking sweat, Klitschko put the six-foot Leapai to the floor twice before finishing the fight with a huge right to the jaw with 58 seconds left in the fifth.
"I feel very good at 38," said Klitschko, who is 23-2 overall in heavyweight championship fights.
"It's not hard to find motivation because I am enjoying what I'm doing. I'm crying like a baby because my training camp is coming to an end. It's exciting times to be in the sport. I love to get ready. It's exciting and enjoyable to be a true professional.”
Klitschko has dedicated his fifth round knock-out of Leapai to his countrymen and brother embroiled in the ongoing political crisis in Ukraine.
The six-foot-six champ, who was in complete control of his 25th world title fight, admitted after that it wasn't as easy as perhaps it looked to the rest of the world.
“It wasn’t easy, because my head was with my countrymen in Ukraine. What is going on in my home country is the concern of the whole world,” said Klitschko.
"I hope that the politicians in my home country will find a peaceful solution, I am proud of my people.
“This fight was important for my countrymen, so that it can distract them from the problems which we are still facing. I hope we can get through this crisis just like I got through this fight."
Klitschko picked up an astonishing 53rd knock-out of his career in his 62nd victory, out of 65 fights overall. He couldn't have asked for an easy fight though, to be quite honest.
The Ukrainian landed 147 punches compared to Leapai’s mere ten. The 34-year-old fighter couldn't get near the world champion and appeared to be extremely wary of Klitschko's punching-power.
Currently ranked third in the pound-for-pound rankings, Klitschko has now emerged triumphant in 20 consecutive outings since suffering a shock TKO at the hands of Lamon Brewster back in April 2004.
Even more impressively, he has now won 16 consecutive title contests and remains a threat to Joe Louis’ long-standing record of 25 successful defences.
But the champion paid tribute to his out-classed challenger, Leapai, following his latest boxing master-class.
“You never stopped, you were courageous and you were bold,” Klitschko told Leapai.
“You had the desire to become a champion and not many of my opponents had that type of attitude. I think your fans back home can be very proud of you.
“Alex was looking for the right moment and the right shot and I swear if one of those shots had landed anywhere near my head I would not be sitting here tonight.
“This is 112kgs of pure muscle and power and I am sure Alex will be able to beat a lot of boxers in the division.”
Klitschko is being rather kind on his Samoan-born opponent, who to me looked like a beaten man as soon as he stepped into the ring.
Both fighters tipped the scales at 112kgs, but Klitschko, with a 15cm height advantage made his superior experience and size count on the night, against a man who he has had just over double the amount of victories as. Leapai has 24 knock-outs in 30 wins.
“I feel disappointed to be honest,” said the Australian fighter. “Wladimir did his homework and made it really hard for me to land that right hand, he just kept moving.
“It’s a learning experience and I just want to get back in the gym and keep going. This is not the end of the line.”
It isn't the end of the line for Klitschko, either, he is clearly not considering retirement being in the superior condition that he is, and it’s hard to envision that he won’t continue to steamroller the division for at least the next five years.
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