By Allan Fox: IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (62-3, 52 KO’s) did a great job tonight in defeating challenger Alex Leapai (30-5-3, 24 KO’s) by a 5th round stoppage at the Koenig Pilsener Arena, Oberhausen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany.
The win over the outclassed Leapai has Wladimir now set to defend against his IBF mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev for later on this year. However, Wladimir has his eyes set on trying to get a fight against the winner of the May 10th fight between Bermane Stiverne and Chris Arreola for the WBC heavyweight title.
That’s the old title that Wladimir’s brother Vitali Klitschko recently vacated recently. That title is the only one that Wladimir doesn’t have in his possession, and he’d like to get a chance to unify that belt so that he can have the opportunity to possess all four of the major title belts at the same time. The only thing that Wladimir needs is permission from the World Boxing Council and International Boxing Federation, plus the green light from the Arreola-Stiverne winner to make the fight happen.
The winner of the Arreola vs. Stvierne fight is supposed to face WBC mandatory challenger Deontay Wilder in their first defense. However, unification fights generally are given precedent over normal title defenses in most cases. What this means is that Wladimir will have a fairly good chance of getting the winner of the Stiverne vs. Arreola fight, as long as the IBF and WBC don’t stop him from getting the fight. Wladimir doesn’t want to be stripped of his IBF title by delaying his defense against Pulev, but that’s why he would need permission from the IBF first before he could take on the Arreola vs. Stiverne winner.
Wladimir is so dominant right now that it’s very unlikely that Arreola or Stiverne would do any better than Leapai did tonight. Both fighters are slow and easy to hit. They have more experience than Leapai, but not much more. If Wladimir fights like he did tonight, he’d easily beat the Arreola-Stiverne winner without any problems.
Wladimir landed 147 of his 396 punches against Leapai. He also connected on 80 of 172 power shots with a 47 percent connect percentage. Leapai landed only 10 of 69 punches, but you’d be hard-pressed to identify which rounds he landed those shots. Most of the time, Leapai was taking shots to the head, and missing badly with his own. When he did try and land a hard left hook in the 5th, he was immediately knocked down by Wladimir. It was so one-sided that it was embarrassing to watch. By the 4th round, Wladimir was teeing off on Leapai and you wondered at one point was Leapai’s corner going to throw in the towel to save him from taking any additional punishment. Leapai wasn’t fighting like someone who was trying to win, and there really was no point in the fight continuing.
“I feel very good at 38,” Wladimir said via ESPN. Wladimir didn’t look 38 with the way he was fighting. He’s fighting like someone still in his 20s, and he seems to be aging incredibly well in a Bernard Hopkins type manner.