Wladimir Klitschko punches Alex Leapai during Saturday’s heavyweight world title bout in Oberhausen, Germany.OBERHAUSEN, Germany — Wladimir Klitschko toyed with Alex Leapai and knocked him out in the fifth round to retain his four heavyweight belts on Saturday.
Klitschko, taller with a longer reach, controlled the fight at will, scoring with left jabs and straight rights with hardly any opposition from the Samoan-born Australian.
Leapai went down when he was hit with a left-right combination. He got up but Klitschko put him away for good with 58 seconds left in the fifth.
“Glory to Ukraine,” Klitschko said after his one-sided win.
Klitschko recorded his 53rd KO in 62 wins, with three defeats. Leapai dropped to 30-5, with three draws. In his 25th world championship fight, Klitschko retained his WBA and IBF heavyweight belts, plus the minor WBO and IBO versions.
Leapai, the first Australian challenger in 106 years, never had a chance. The only time he ever got close to the bigger Ukrainian was just before getting floored in the fifth.
He took an eight count in the first round, although he claimed to have slipped.
Leapai’s only chance was to try to get inside, but Klitschko easily stopped him with his effective jab. Leapai appeared to finally hit Klitschko in the fifth but the champion replied with a barrage and put the Australian down. Leapai got up but was clearly shaken, and Klitschko finished him off with a huge right to the jaw.
“It wasn’t easy, my head was in Ukraine and what is going on there. I hope there is no war and people dying. I am proud of my people,” Klitschko said.
Klitschko’s elder brother, Vitali, who has retired from boxing to run for political office in Kiev and who has been one of the leading opposition figures in Ukraine, was in Wladimir’s corner as usual. Vitali’s wife, Natalia, sang the Ukraine national anthem before the fight.
“It was textbook fighting by Wladimir. He did not make a mistake,” Vitali said.
Leapai, a delivery truck driver, said it was time to “go back to the gym.”
“I tried to take the fight to him and it didn’t work. I am all right, I was waiting for my opportunity but he is a champion and a great fighter,” Leapai said.MORE IN Wire Sports
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day 1739, 'Richard Palmer' identified in prison at York Castle as the notorious outlaw DICK TURPIN; IN 1836, Battle of the Alamo begins near San Antonio de Bexar, Texas; 1896, the Tootsie Roll invented by LEO HIRSCHFELD.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1472, Orkney, Shetland islands put up as collateral by Norway to Scotland in lieu of dowry for MARGARET OF DENMARK on her marriage with JAMES III, king of Scotland; 1962, JOHN GLENN first American to orbit Earth.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: City mayoral candidates debate campaign issues; Hartford, Conn., woman still missing; Neal Goswami reports attempts to legislate suicide; local woman loses 100 pounds through TOPS program.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1878, JOHN TUNSTALL murdered near Lincoln, New Mexico, by the outlaw JESSE EVANS; in 1930, ELM FARM OLLIE first cow to fly in aircraft, first to be milked airborne; 1955, nuke test WASP; '79, snow in Sahara.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Rutland Herald News Editor Alan J. Keays and staff writer Gordon Dritschilo discuss stories planned for the February 18, 2015, edition of the newspaper: Winter budgets maxed, legal marijuana, Springfield bank job, USPS slowdown
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1249 AD, ANDRE of LONGJUMEAU is dispatched by LOUIS IX of France to meet the KHAGAN, ruler of the Mongol Empire; in 1804, during 1st Barbary War, STEPHEN DECATUR scuttles the pirate-held USS Philadelphia in Tripoli.