Wladimir Klitschko vs Alex Leapai preview April 26
Heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko of Ukraine will be putting his IBO, WBO, IBF and WBA titles on the line this Saturday, April 26 when he takes on challenger Alex Leapai of Australia in Oberhausen, Germany. Even though Klitschko is now 38 years old he said he intends on boxing for several more years as he hopes to break Joe Louis’s record as the longest reigning world heavyweight champion. Klitschko has been a titleholder since 2006. The 12-round bout can be seen live in the U.S. on the ESPN network.
The 34-year-old Leapai resembles quite a few of Klitschko’s career opponents as most boxing fans have never really heard of him. However, he turned pro back in 2004 and has compiled a pretty decent record of 30-4-3 along with 24 Kos. Klitschko will climb through the ring ropes with a mark of 61-3 along with 51 Kos to his name and hasn’t lost a fight in the past decade.
Klitschko is aiming at breaking Louis’s record of holding the heavyweight title for 12 years. Louis held a version of the belt from 1937 to 1949, which means Klitschko will need to remain unbeaten for the next four years until he’s 42 years old in 2018. The champion said age is nothing but a number and “I am still extremely hungry and better than ever. A few years ago, I thought I couldn’t improve, but my mission is still a long way from over. I want to box on for ten more years. I feel the combination of experience, athletic-ability, technique and strategy makes me the complete professional.”
This will be Klitschko’s 16th title defense and 25th overall world heavyweight title bout. He beat Alexander Povetkin by a unanimous decision in his last outing. He has made the third-most title defences in the division’s history. Louis defended his crown 25 times while Larry Holmes defended his 20. Leapai, who was born in Samoa, and now lives in Australia, beat Denis Boytsov by unanimous decision back in November.
Leapai isn’t very big for a heavyweight especially when compared to Klitschko. He stands just six feet tall with a 75-inch reach. He was beaten by journeyman the light-hitting Kevin Johnson by a ninth-round TKO just two years ago. He has beaten the likes of Owen Beck, Darnell Wilson and Travis Walker though. He’s got decent power and that’s probably his only hope against the champion though. Klitschko, by the way, is 6-feet-6-inches tall with an 81-inch reach.
For Leapai to pull off an upset here he’s basically going to have to land one hell of a punch flush on Klitschko’s jaw. Of course it’s possible, but not very likely. This should be just another routine title defence for Klitschko as he lands some stiff jabs and stinging power punches along the way. Look for him to eventually stop Leapai, probably in the second half of the bout.
Sportsbook 5dimes.eu has the latest odds on all of the big fights with a Klitschko win being listed at -1100 and a Leapai victory at +700. Visit 5Dimes.eu to see up to date odds and to bet on this fight. You should also check out our recent boxing betting predictions to see how we’ve done of late capping the bouts.