ALTHOUGH the rounds were the same, for Alex Leapai and Lucas Browne – their fortunes were very different.
On the partizan ground of Oberhausen, Leapai found the going tough as he was thoroughly beaten by long-reigning lineal heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko for five-one sided rounds, before proceedings where ended when Leapai was floored for a second time.
The Ukrainian dominated the 34-year-old Leapai from the onset, despite being aided by a soft first-round knockdown.
Leapai desperately tried to break inside Klitschko’s fencer-like guard, but found it incredibly difficult to land anything of significance. Leapai wildly launched his lead left-hook at Klitschko numerous times – hitting nothing but air.
One major criticism that many cite about Klitschko’s reign is his seemingly unwillingness to trade with shorter challengers. The defending champion seemed eager to break this stereotype early, deciding to stand in the pocket and part through Leapai’s weaving with strong left jabs.
While Leapai did as he promised and attacked Wladimir with pressure, he struggled to get inside – and when he did – he was pounded with right-handed shots that regularly shook the Samoan-born challenger.
Despite being hurt on numerous occasions, Leapai was on the front-foot and was constantly moving forward before throwing big looping shots. Klitschko’s darting jab regularly halted any kind of momentum that Leapai had tried to set, which was clearly throwing him off his game-plan.
With the victory, Klitschko improves his impressive resume to 62-3 (52 knockouts) and remains undefeated in a decade. Klitschko also won his twentieth fight in a row and now has sixteen consecutive title defences. Leapai’s log drops to 30-5-3 (24 knockouts).
In reality, Alex Leapai stood no chance to the titanic presence of Wladimir Klitschko today. He was brave and put on a courageous effort in front of millions – but tonight quite simply, wasn’t his night.