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Heavyweight King Wladimir Klitschko Crushes Alex Leapai In Germany

It wasn't very far away from watching a cat toying with a mouse as heavyweight Wladimir Klitschko defended his four world title belts against mandatory challenger Alex Leapai last night at Koening Pilsner Arena in Oberhausen, Germany.

Australia's Leapai came into the contest confident after a career best win in November, putting the first loss on Denis Boystov's record in defense of the WBO Asia Pacific belt, which marked the 34 year old Logan City man's first visit to Germany.

But Denis Boystov and Wladimir Klitschko are two very different fighters and Leapai would not enjoy the same success on his second trip to Deutschland.

Going into the Klitschko fight, the odds of a Leapai victory actually occuring were decidedly slim; he had never faced a world class opponent and had suffered a ninth round TKO when he had stepped up against fringe contender Kevin Johnson in 2012.

And at 6'0 and possessing a 75 inch reach, in order to land a punch, Leapai would have to get in close to the 6'6 Klitschko, who, during his ten year unbeaten run has become an expert at denying opponents that proximity.

From the first bell, Leapai sought to pressure the champion but immediately found out why Klitschko has won 19 consecutive bouts while losing very few rounds along the way.

At 38 years of age, Klitschko displayed exceptional footwork, reflexes and co-ordination as he handled the challenger's pressure without ever having to go past first gear.

Leapai's roundhouse punches were blocked or slipped and soon the Aussie found himself on the defensive from Klitschko's vaunted jab, having to throw his shots from a ducking position that took away any hope of the efforts actually landing.

Leapai was down in the first after stumbling to the canvas from two quick jabs but wasn't hurt and the one way traffic continued.

The massive Ukrainian upped his offense a bit in the second, adding in straight right hands to go with the jabs and Leapai's chances of victory suddenly became even smaller.

The third round saw Klitschko start to put more grit into his punches and by the fourth, Leapai was taking heavy shots as the champion was no longer worried about defense.

In the fifth, Klitschko began to whip in lead left hooks, putting the battered Leapai on the seat of his pants with a left hook - right hand combination. The challenger bravely beat the count but shortly afterward was dropped much harder by the same combination and this time the contest was called off at 2:05 of the round.

In his first world title bout, Leapai, who falls to 30-5-3 (24), never stopped trying despite being heavily outgunned by the far more experienced Klitschko, who now stands at 62-3 (52).

With his brother Vitali now retired, Wladimir Klitschko stands firmly atop the heavyweight division and it's hard to see anyone in the weight class who can budge him from his perch.

It is just a matter of time until Wladimir adds Vitali's old WBC belt to his collection and expect Dr Steelhammer to retire within two years without a further loss.

Unless Deontay Wilder can really take a punch.

About Hermann Helmut

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