It couldn’t get any more one sided than the way Wladimir Klitschko manhandled Alex Leapai in brisk and efficient fifth round knockout to retain his WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, IBO & The Ring Heavyweight title belts, once again showing his complete dominance over a decaying weigh class, which makes it hard to judge how good he really is on a historical level.
Klitschko landed 147 punches to Leapai’s 10. That is how this fight went. The skill, the height, the reach. Nothing was equal or even before and during the fight. The first Australian challenger for a heavyweight title in over a century had one chance – getting inside, which he tried from time to time, but Klitschko kept fending him off with jabs and eventually the one time Leapai got a clean hit on Klitschko, it resulted in his demise.
Leapai was actually down for an eight count in the first round but he claimed it was a slip. It didn’t actually look like too much damage was one by that stage. Leapai was taken down in the fifth again with an impressive left right combination from Klitschko, and when he got up was knocked out with a left, 58 seconds left on the clock. It was the 62nd win in 65 fights for the 38 year-old Ukrainian champion, coming up with his 53rd knockout.
There are more numbers to throw at you: A 20th consecutive win since 2004; His sixth consecutive title defense of all the rings he currently holds; overall, it is his 18th consecutive successful title defense. History books, like it or not, are filled with Klitschko achievements, regardless of the names he has beaten en route to all these titles. Boxing media is obviously American biased, and it doesn’t help that English isn’t his first language.
What’s next? Does it matter? Probably Striverne vs. Arreola or Pulev taking on Klitschko, but there seems to be a different division for the younger of the brothers. Vitali was in his corner during the fight, as always, but right now there are more pressing matters in the Ukraine for him to handle. Boxing takes a second seat to that except for one night, and it remains for Wladimir to carry on their incredible tradition and success.
His achievements and wins will always be judged compared to the talent he hasn’t faced, as all the great American heavyweights have disappeared from the map. David Haye made a lot of noise a few years ago but turned out to be nothing but a big mouth. The Klitschko brothers simply fight, usually bore everyone to death with their jabs but come away as undisputed winners and champions. It might not make them the best of all-time, but they have the numbers, especially Wladimir, to deserve more recognition than they usually get.