WBO makes Alex Leapai the mandatory for Wladimir Klitschko
By Eric Thomas: The World Boxing Organization has made #8 WBO Alex Leapai (30-4-3, 24 KO’s) the mandatory challenger for IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (61-3, 51 KO’s). The WBO made voted to make the 34-year-old Leapai the WBO mandatory for Wladimir based on Leapai’s 10 round unanimous decision win over the previously unbeaten Russian Denis Boytsov last month on November 23rd in Bamberg, Germany.
Wladimir and Leapai have 30 days to put the fight together. Wladimir probably doesn’t mind this title defense too much Leapai looked nothing special in beating Boytsov. He’s very slow on his feet and his hand speed is also incredibly slow. Leapai is somewhat similar to Paea Wolfgramm, a fighter who Wladimir knocked out in the 1st round in 2000. Wladimir came out and threw a flurry of shots against the much slower Wolfgram and the fight was halted. Leapai is about as fast as Wolfgram and he’ll be knocked out by Wladimir.
WBO president Paco Valcarcel said:
#WBO Championship Committee has voted to designate Alex Leapai Wladimir Klitschko's mandatory challenger. Parties have 30 days to negotiate.
— Paco Valcárcel, Esq. (@PacoValcarcel) December 4, 2013
Wladimir defeated WBA heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin by a dull 12 round unanimous decision last October in Moscow, Russia in a clinch-filled fight where Wladimir got away with a great deal of clinching. The referee let him get away with a great deal of the holding and leaning on Povetkin without taking points off. It was one of Wladimir’s worst performances in quite some time because he seemed unwilling to take any kind of chances to let his hands go for fear of getting nailed by Povetkin. The fans even booed at times at the constant holding.
Leapai, an Australian heavyweight, has faced largely weak opposition throughout his career until fighting Boytsov, who you can make an argument that he’s a weak opponent as well. Leapai has losses against Kevin Johnson and Colin Wilson among others. He can punch hard if you stand directly in front of him for a long period of time without throwing anything back like the way Boystov was, but Leapai doesn’t handle movement too well and he can be out-boxed. Kevin Johnson kept Leapai on the outside using his jab and then stopped him in the 9th.