Wladimir Klitschko Thrashes Alex Leapai

By Matt McGrain on April 26, 2014
Wladimir Klitschko Thrashes Alex Leapai
Klitschko will unquestionably have had more difficult afternoons in sparring. (Reuters)

The lesson here is that a good back story and a victory over the broadly untested Denis Boytsov does not a heavyweight contender make…

An embarrassingly one-sided heavyweight title fight fought in Germany tonight ended in a fifth round knockout of Alex Leapai (now 30-5-3) by heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko (62-3). The lesson here is that a good back story and a victory over the broadly untested Denis Boytsov does not a heavyweight contender make. Klitschko will unquestionably have had more difficult afternoons in sparring.

Leapai claimed pre-fight that Wladimir would need to tear out his heart to beat him, and this he did in stages, first with the jab, and then with the right hand. Leapai, whose turgid walk-in style is literally made for Wladimir, was never going to trouble the champion, the vast difference in class demonstrated perfectly in the first round when Wladimir, moving extremely well around the shorter man, seemed to cause Leapai to fall over simply by being hard to follow.

Showing very little skill at cutting off the ring, Leapai, static and plodding, was a sitting duck for the division’s best jab, and Wladimir celebrated by landing it often, hard. He dispensed with his normal first round conservatism with the right hand, too, landing several painful looking one-twos. 

In absolute control of both the range and the tempo, the second was a rerun of the first bar the three unanswered left hooks Wladimir landed, forcing Leapai back to the ropes. By the end of the third, the fight had become an exercise in endurance, and in this regard, if in no other, Leapai was impressive swallowing flush bombs from a legitimate puncher as he continued to wade forwards, to “walk him down” as he was curtly informed by his corner at the end of every round. It is unlikely that he landed ten blows.

Punched over and over again directly in the face by a 247-pound man who is trained to deliver messages of punishment with his fists I first started to feel legitimately alarmed for the challenger during the fourth. Leapai was being hit repeatedly with sickeners, finishers, but his fighting heart demanded that he march forwards into pain. This, he did, but fighters often are too brave for their own good. I found myself glancing from the brutalized challenger to referee Eddie Cotton in the hope that he would find some reason to intervene; he did not.

Mercifully the end came in the fifth. By then, Wladmir looked like a combat specialist beating a drunk for fun, and when that drunk was dropped by a booming right-hand, confounded on his back by a fighter at least four classes removed from his own, I felt a real sense of relief. Leapai dragged himself from the canvas and the champion went back to work. Three unanswered right hands preceded the one-two that ended matters. Wladimir claimed post-fight that there were “no easy opponents,” but that is not true. Leapai was an easy opponent. 

In the end, perhaps the details matter less than the broad strokes which are these: Wladimir Klitschko beat up a physically overmatched, fisticly underqualified opponent who was out of his depth and his safety-zone. This last point cannot be stressed enough. The reason the very best fighters must be matched responsibly isn’t just a matter of creating satisfying sporting competition, though this is an important aspect. Also important is to realize that one of these ABCs is going to get an honest professional killed matching him with a champion. Wladimir, simply put, is the most dangerous boxer on earth because he is capable, with his combination of caution and power, of delivering both a sustained beating and a concussive visitation on the same night. Suffering either one of these alone is of danger to a human being.

I am sure Leapai did his best tonight, just as I am sure that he will have believed going in to the fight that he could win it, just as he will have loved securing his family’s future with a career’s best payday – but I would insist that against his wishes and despite what the WBO had to say about it, he should have been protected from Wladimir Klitschko tonight because he was incapable of protecting himself. It was a physical and technical mismatch. 

And if Wladamir allows himself to be led around by the marshals of the belts that he graces, his legacy will be compromised. Whether through incompetence or corruption, they will continue to match him with fighters who haven’t earned the shot and have no chance of seizing it. This is the oldest way of fixing fights.

Tonight, the world’s best heavyweight triumphed once more in one-sided fashion, but who, honestly, can claim to be impressed?

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Wladimir Klitschko vs Alex Leapai 2014-04-26 Владимир Кличко - Алекс Леапаи

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  1. Pete The Sneak 04:34am, 05/01/2014

    “In Boxing who cares where you are from what your up bring is your here to box and your color, your culture, who you worship, doesn’t matter….” Kool, this is the best line on this entire thread…Indeed…Peace.

  2. Kool 02:56pm, 04/30/2014

    Careful when the Racism flag is flown and there is propaganda media about it it really is about Hate towards Whites.  That Racism is really a racism towards white people.  This is there plan and when you threw Israel into the sentence you know who is behind it all.  (Mel Gibson)(you don’t know the whole story about)
    Did you see the media talk about Blacks and their gangs and there Knock Out Crimes? 
    The problem here is that the culture and the media create this scenario.  Do you see them talking about how we are all the same how color birth matters not?  Do you see them speak about how sports embraces all people?
    In sports they assume any anger towards another person or team is racism.(this creates Racism) It’s like saying Anti Semitic BS which is created about the ADL.  (Load of BS)
    Let me tell you about the Entertainment industry(say something bad about Palestine and you are through, say something bad about Israel or Jews running not just Federal Reserve Monetary system, but AIPAC, DHS, ADL, USDA, host of others and you are done)
    That’s right Jews run the Entertainment Industry.  Now is that Anti-Semitic?
    Who Rules the Sports?  Look into it.
    Do not think that the immigration laws in the US, UK, Sweden, and France are an accident.  There is lot more going on than some guy saying he doesn’t want a girl hanging out with blacks.
    In Boxing who cares where you are from what your up bring is your here to box and your color, your culture, who you worship, doesn’t matter.

  3. George Thomas Clark 01:06pm, 04/30/2014

    A look at the makeup of those in U.S. prisons indicates African Americans aren’t getting away with much.  There are, in fact, too many prisoners in this country.

    Eric is correct, however, that there is sometimes a double standard in the media and many pretend racism is a genetic affliction exclusively white.  I think Jesse Jackson, whom I admire in many ways, still believes that, even when he’s in “Hymie Town.”

    Regarding Sterling, he’s at last responded as noted in: “Donald Sterling Speaks” - http://www.georgethomasclark.com/?p=6646

  4. Eric 07:31am, 04/30/2014

    “TBE” to the rescue. Missed in all of this is the fact that taping someone without their consent is illegal in California. Tokowitz’s “girlfriend” needs to held accountable for her crime. “TBE” aka “Money” aka Floyd Mayweather might just be able to help boost attendance at the Clipper’s games. This whole story is really no laughing matter, however. America has become pathetic. This game of taping people’s private conversations ala Mel Gibson, and the latest Sterling, and then having the Social Engineers crucify them publicly is like living in Stalin’s former Soviet Union. I’m not defending what this guy said but he has ever right to his opinion, and if you don’t like it, then don’t attend or watch the Clippers games. Then you have the blatant DOUBLE STANDARDS, some black congressman (Charlie Rangel) actor, or rapper can spew about “crackers” or “white bitches” and not a peep out of anyone. If the NBA and the controlled media would get this upset over Black on White rape, assaults, murder, etc., it might help with the OTHER MORE PROMINENT FORM OF RACISM in this country. The duplicitous Social Engineers identify “hate speech” in the same way they identify so-called “hate crimes,” only Whites are guilty of both, everyone else gets a free pass.

  5. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 09:36pm, 04/29/2014

    This shit is getting good…Mayweather making nice with Donald….wants to buy the Clippers. Let’s see now….. Sterling’s 80 years old….gets a lifetime ban…pretty light sentence I’d say….still….he was talking shit in his own home….the nerve of the old reprobate….probably was talking on his cel while taking a shit in his master bathroom….you know how you get frisky sometimes after you’ve taken a good dump. Little did know that the tranny who’s so damn ugly she makes blind kids cry, had it on record….this is one dumb fuking billionaire….still…..Alzheimers is a bitch!

  6. Eric 06:52pm, 04/29/2014

    Clive Bundy has to be the happiest man in America right about now. The PC thugz have kicked Bundy to the curb, and instead are focusing all their attention on Sterling and his “girlfriend.” Wonder how many of Bundy and Sterling’s attackers have ever spewed anything racist in their private or even public conversations. I’m sure Spike Lee, Charles Barkley, and Magic Johnson have never spoken ill about or towards another race in their entire lives. Charlie Rangel needs to represent!

  7. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 06:05pm, 04/29/2014

    Sterling has a backup plan….a team of black dwarfs and every damn one of them can dunk! Think about this one….. Daddy Warbucks gets back doored by a tranny with a tight sphincter! Which reminds me…Ol’ Rat Face Spike Lee says the white players have to speak up…must be talking about the NHL!

  8. Eric 03:10pm, 04/29/2014

    Donald Tokowitz aka Donald Sterling has been banned for life from the NBA and fined 2.5 million. Damn it Jim. Only thing is, when you’re a billionaire like good ole Tokowitz, 2.5 million is tip money, or the equivalent to what he spends on a 4-day vacation. Don’t know if the Clippers are still alive in the playoffs (like millions, I don’t watch the NBA) but maybe L.A.‘s “second team” can win it all. If the Clippers win the big one, Odunga could have Beer Summit II with Tokowitz and his team.

  9. George Thomas Clark 12:40pm, 04/29/2014

    Irish Frankie - I’m starting to suspect you may not be a hoops fan.  Don’t worry, there’ll always be an occasional Nash, Dirk, Gasol, and Love; not many, but a few.

  10. Eric 10:06am, 04/29/2014

    The NAACP now says they are willing to “forgive” Sterling. After the predictable feigning of outrage, the race pimps over at the NAACP now seek to “work” with the billionaire geezer, and cleanse him of his raci$m. I’m sure all this indoctrination and “clean$ing” won’t come cheap. “The Donald” might have an epiphany and realize that the only way he can find redemption is to let Magic Johnson purchase his team for $19.99.

  11. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 09:48am, 04/29/2014

    Larry Johnson wants an all black basketball league…..what this Knick “executive” really means is that he wants all black ownership….he’s clearly not a big thinker….he doesn’t go far enough…how about a league where the players are all black…..the coaches are all black….the mascots are all black…..in fact everything all black….most of all and this is critical….. only black fans to be admitted to the games….perfect. ....let’s get started….disband the NBA like right now…. don’t waste another precious Goddamned minute!

  12. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 08:30am, 04/29/2014

    Donald, you senile, kinky old bastard….you gave $2,000,000 plus to a tranny! Yea that’s right….a tranny so ugly that when she walks into a bank with your money they turn off the cameras!

  13. Eric 02:48pm, 04/28/2014

    The NBA and the NAACP are both racist organizations. Sterling was supposed to receive an award from the NAACP but that has been shot down by the NAACP. The “reverends” Al $harpton and Je$$e Jack$on have probably never been refused an award by the NAACP and those two race pimps are about as racist as it get. The NBA refuses to jump on the “diversity” bandwagon, the league is in fact a “black league” as Barkley stated. Maybe some “anti-racist” crusaders need to boycott the NBA until it drafts more white, Asian, and hispanic players. Sterling is your typical closet racist, and as always, those are the worst racist out there. Kind of a pompous ahole too when you think about it. Telling a half black & half Mexican girl not to hang out with blacks, at least not in public. Of course, everyone knows this girl set this guy up for the fall,  an infant could have told she was playing him the whole time while he was being taped.

  14. Eric 02:32pm, 04/28/2014

    There is a good chance that Mickey Rourke could end up looking like Mr. Sterling in a few years.

  15. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 01:48pm, 04/28/2014

    Which reminds me…Larry Bird was the best player in the NBA at that time….think about that for a Goddamned minute…..can you imagine LeBron getting that kind of treatment in this stinkin’ ass Brave New World….which brings us back to boxing where developmentally disabled cretins that are running around at large for some damn reason, feel that it’s OK to spit in the faces, slap, and throw shoes at the two best fist fighters in the world (screw that PC P4P shit) of course there’s a direct correlation here but we dare not speak it’s name….do we?

  16. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 01:33pm, 04/28/2014

    The most iconic moment in NBA history is when in plain view of the whole world of sports, Moses Malone and Charles Barkley were choke holding Larry Bird while Dr J punched and choked Larry (as Larry’s punkass team mates stood there and felt Larry’s pain)....that’s really what the NBA is all about any Goddamned way….now that the truth is out in the open and even the plantation owners are found to be vile racists as well (as we all knew anyway)....forget kicking Sterling out of the league…..they need to disband this vile cesspool of racism and hatred called the NBA.

  17. Koolz 12:36pm, 04/28/2014

    Is there any Heavyweight out there now that could actually challenge Wlad?

    No there isn’t anyone.  All of them would be destroyed.  I don’t see any of them being able to beat Wlad.  I thought Haye was the only one that had a chance.

    We will continue to see him KO and Dominate fights.

  18. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 10:22am, 04/28/2014

    Which reminds me….99% of the nonentities in those NBA seats can’t dunk….so it’s all ooh and ahh every time someone (who probably could dunk way back in middle school) slams one down….even the guys who can touch the rim on their tippy toes.

  19. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 10:09am, 04/28/2014

    The white players in the NBA must feel like The Last of the Mohicans….even then Kevin Love one of the premier players in the league gets dogged by other players for not defending….who the fuk defends in the NBA any damn way…what they do is clear a path…especially if LeBron is barreling down the lane…it’s all, “it’s Lebron man, what do you expect me to do?”

  20. Eric 10:00am, 04/28/2014

    Charles Barkley stated that the NBA was a “black league.” Is that “wayciss?” I don’t think it is at all,  Barkley was just telling the truth, and the some people detest hearing the truth. If Michael Phelps were to say that swimming is a white man’s sport, we all know that Phelps would be raked over the coals by the PC police. I’m sure all those players like Magic Johnson, MJ, and Barkley don’t have a racist bone in their bodies, and have probably never uttered the C-word in their entire lives.

  21. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 09:47am, 04/28/2014

    99% of the fans sitting in those NBA seats are white and 99% of them think the same way as Sterling…bunch of Progressive, closet racists like Harry Reid…..which reminds me….Larry Bird says it might be a good idea to have a few more white players…..he’s branded a racist….anyway he was wrong…. those asshats in the seats aren’t looking for anything out on the floor to identify with….they are there to prove they are something that they aren’t!

  22. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 09:29am, 04/28/2014

    Is Floyd Mayweather the Muammar Gaddafi of boxing….you decide….which reminds me…in so many words….Billy Burke as Glinda the Good Witch: “bad witches are ugly.” Asks Dorothy: “are you a bad witch?”....what was Dorothy’s real relationship to those three useless farm hands any damn way….I say barnyard hijinks….joined occasionally by traveling Bible salesmen in those deep Depression days in Tornado Alley!

  23. Eric 09:22am, 04/28/2014

    I’m already sick of hearing about Donald Sterling. teehee. With all the sheet going on in the world today and this story is a major news story. They can’t slam Sterling too hard because Sterling could pull out the “anti-Semitic” card if they do, and you can’t call him a “wayciss” because his girlfriend is a Blacktina aka Mexican and African American. Even Odunga has weighed in on the “wayciss” statements made by Mr. Sterling. Someone suggested Sterling buy himself a hockey team instead of a basketball team. Oy vey, what a mess. Can’t wait to hear the “reverends” take on this horrific example of “hate speech.”

  24. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 09:08am, 04/28/2014

    Where the heck is The Thresher and Clarence George?.....is Mike Schmidt OK?... FrankinDallas ducks in and drops a sweet right to the chops then he’s out’a here….WTF!...why the heck don’t Eric or nicolas take a little time and effort and put together an article and submit it to the editor and let us know how they really feel….way too many Progressive boxing writers on here any damn way….why?why?Oh why?...Why doesn’t Holder’s DOJ seize the Clippers…what’s stopping him….certainly not the law! Which reminds me….“With money in your pocket, you are wise and you are handsome and you sing well, too.” (Yiddish Proverb)....not in the case of Donald Sterling of obviously!

  25. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 08:02am, 04/28/2014

    Here’s what I say…..forget the others….Wilder is ripe and ready….let’s have some Goddamned fun here for a change!

  26. Matt McGrain 07:45am, 04/28/2014

    Wlad’s kicking ass now, whoever was kicking ass back in the day.  But the guy only fights twice a year (standard) so he needs to kick ass that isn’t in his class less often than those bygone.  Fury or Pulev next please.  Stiverne, I would except at a push, but I wouldn’t be overjoyed.

  27. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 07:41am, 04/28/2014

    George Thomas Clark seems to be saying that white athletes shouldn’t look the way Wladimir does…..for anyone who is really paying attention the reality is this….in general athletes from Southern and especially Eastern Europe are plain and simply….stronger and yes more athletic than the athletes whose origins are in Western and Northern Europe. Who knows why….it could be Genghis Khan’s genes still swimming around in that part of the world…..so don’t even try to compare Tyson Fury pound for pound with The Klitschko brothers…it’s just not going to work out.

  28. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 07:00am, 04/28/2014

    Eric-For my part you have made your point with about a dozen exclamation points…..I could be wrong but I don’t think that the 6’0” Doug Jones ever weighed in over 185 for any of his fights and he gave a young Cassius Clay Holy Hell. Let’s be real here…if Angelo Dundee hadn’t cheated for Ali in London, Ali very well might not have had that Precious “0” on his record all those years that enabled him to propagate the myth of invincibility and rant that he was the “Greatest “....just .ask Floyd how valuable that “0”....in his case it’s more valuable than his 88 friggin’ cars by far. George Thomas Clark’s contributions to Boxing.com are more fun than any others on this site with the possible exception of Clarence George’s….but he has really drank the Koolaid when it comes to Ali.

  29. Eric 06:26am, 04/28/2014

    Most of Frazier’s opponents would have been cruiserweights today. Eddie Machen, Quarry, Doug Jones, and Ellis were all under 200lbs for nearly all of their fights, while Bonavena was about the same size as Joe. Terry Daniels weighed well under 200lbs when he fought Frazier for the title, I believe Daniels weighed about a buck ninety-one or so for that fight. Bob Foster weighed even less than Daniels when he challenged Frazier. Even Chuvalo would be small by modern standards. Buster Mathis was huge, and quick for his size, but not a big puncher. Frazier also had a suspect chin, he was floored twice by Bonavena, rocked by Quarry in their first fight. He was also shaken up a bit by Ali (second fight), Joe Bugner, and even Ron Stander. Ali, Foreman, and even Bugner used their size and reach well over Frazier, and the Klits are even bigger.

  30. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 09:34pm, 04/27/2014

    Speaking of physiques….Corrie Sanders, God rest his soul, had the body of a scratch golfer….maybe because that was what he was….. but let’s be frank, Frank….he was a freak puncher and the punch he KO’d Wladimir with (yes it was that first punch that did the deed) was a freak punch that Klitschko didn’t see because the Goddamed thing came up from Sanders waist while at very close quarters….basically chested up with Wladimir. If the left hook that Henry Cooper landed on Ali could put him on his ass you can bet your sweet ass that Sander’s punch would have put the 210 lb. Ali through the ropes and clear out of the ring. Bless his soul Sanders was one of those fighters that tried harder against certain other fighters….. for some reason.

  31. George Thomas Clark 07:28pm, 04/27/2014

    Look at the still photo in the video above.  Wladimir is either the greatest athlete of all time or…

  32. George Thomas Clark 07:17pm, 04/27/2014

    Some good points there.  Poor Patterson and Quarry, for example, outweighed in most fight, would today be devastating cruiserweights.  I disagree that a 1969-71 Joe Frazier was too small for anyone, except Foreman, of course.  I can see a quick and strong Frazier getting inside on Wladimir and taking him out.

    Another point, in regard to the assertion that K would put Ali on his ass.  Really?  David Haye and Alexander Povetkin and Marius Wach have all gone the distance with K since 2011.  But the great Ali couldn’t have?

  33. Eric 02:56pm, 04/27/2014

    In 29 of Ali’s 61 fights, either one or both fighters weighed under 200lbs. So you could say that almost half of Ali’s fights would have been cruiserweight fights by modern standards. I couldn’t see the Klits having trouble with any of Ali’s opponents other than a prime Liston or Foreman. Foreman and Liston would at least have a puncher’s chance, but prime Foreman’s stamina is a big strike against him. Norton only excelled against men that couldn’t hurt him, and Frazier was just too small. Holmes was way overrated and ruled in what might could arguably considered one of the worst eras of heavyweight boxing. The rest of the “golden era” like Chuvalo, Bonavena, Quarry, Ellis, and Shavers were just too small. Jimmy Young couldn’t break an egg, and Ron Lyle, although a fine puncher, was pretty limited. Bugner might have had a shot because at 6’4” and 220-225lbs or so, he wasn’t that much smaller, and he could take a punch, along with being a fine boxer. Bugner wasn’t much of a puncher, however.

  34. George Thomas Clark 01:44pm, 04/27/2014

    Eric - I think Foreman, Frazier, and Liston would disagree that Ali lacked punching power. 

    Late in his career he punched less authoritatively, and didn’t stop anyone after 1976, and his last elite stoppage was Frazier in Manila in 1975.

    He at any rate should have retired after the Foreman fight in 1974.

  35. Eric 01:35pm, 04/27/2014

    George Thomas Clark… No doubt McGwire was “clean” back in ‘87. I believe McGwire weighed about 225lbs in his rookie year, and he looked like a bean pole compared to the ‘98 version of Big Mac. Sammy Sosa weighed about 165lbs when he started with playing with the Rangers and White Sox.

  36. Eric 01:09pm, 04/27/2014

    Wepner was one tough cookie, but he was a fringe contender at best. Wepner never heard the bell for round 4 against Foreman, Buster Mathis, or Joe Bugner, the 20 year old Bugner handled Wepner with ease. Wepner was also stopped in 6 rounds by Duane Bobick. For the life of me, I couldn’t imagine Wepner lasting more than a handful of rounds against either Wlad or Vitali. Other than one Duke Sabedong, the tallest men that Ali ever fought were the 6’5” Ernie Terrell and Wepner. Most of the time when Ali fought he enjoyed a height and reach advantage. Patterson, Frazier, and Bonavena were under 6’, and Chuvalo, Quarry, Ellis, Shavers, were all in the 6’-6’1” range. Ali never fought a bigger man that was as skillful as the Klit brothers. Holmes, Foreman, Lyle, and Norton were all basically the same size as Ali in that 6’3”-6’4” and 215-220lb range. Ali’s lack of power would hurt him against either brother also.

  37. FrankinDallas 12:39pm, 04/27/2014

    Irish Frankie…you’re on the wrong boxing site. In the alternative world of Boxing.com, Harry Greb KO’s Wlad in 2, and wins a TKO vs Vitali in 8. On the same day. And nobody who fought in the post 2000 world beats
    anyone from the pre-1950’s.

  38. George Thomas Clark 11:13am, 04/27/2014

    One should be careful asserting that Jimmy Young (definitely) beat Ali.  Every time Ali hit him hard, Young stuck his head out of the ring, forcing the fight to be halted.  He should’ve been penalized a point every time.  Instead, I imagine the judges factored those unlawful escapes into the scoring. 

    Also, we are talking about the 1970s Jimmy Young, the one who almost (or did) outpoint Ken Norton and who definitely did outpoint George Foreman and put him down, though not all the way on his ass and because of George’s exhaustion more than Young’s force. 

    Jimmy Young was an outstanding fighter who, during that period, was the essential equal of three all time greats. 

  39. George Thomas Clark 11:05am, 04/27/2014

    I’m not accusing the K’s, I said I was asking.  I believe you used stronger language in regard to Marquez, presumably “without a shred of evidence,” only an even better standard - the old eyeball test.

    I am definitely not “diminishing” the K’s: they’re superb athletes, extremely dedicated, sensible in and out of the ring, and both hold a PhD.  Furthermore, I like the guys.  I like McGwire, too.  He hit 49 homers as a rookie around 1987, and was probably clean at the time.

    Regarding Ali, yes I’m referring to that great fighter who twice beat Frazier and once Foreman, and I’m also referring to that untouchable fellow from the 1960s.  By the way, I was there for the second Ali-Norton fight, in the fall of 1973 at the Forum.  Since I was in the rafters - my plan to sneak into better seats was rebuffed by security - I had to study the fight the following weekend on TV, accompanied by excellent commentary from Howard Cosell. 

    You mentioned Chuck Wepner - that’s one tough son of a bitch.  He went about as many rounds with Sonny Liston as with Ali.  And Sonny was still formidable.  There’s a fine ESPN documentary about Wepner - he’s a great raconteur - and he talks about just how tough Liston was.  Wepner said he lost a lot of blood and was in shock for about two days after the fight.  I got that documentary by video streaming on Netflix.

  40. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 10:45am, 04/27/2014

    Are we talking about the same fighter here….you can’t be referencing the Ali that went a total of 42 rounds with Evangelista, Wepner (who put Ali on his ass) and Lubbers as the guy that would put Wladimir on his ass….or the fighter that Jimmy Young beat and Ken Norton beat twice (of course he did). I’m fairly certainly you’re not….you must be all about the boxer that had the great fights with Frazier and KO’d Foreman…fair enough. Now you’re playing the PEDs card to diminish Wladimir and his brother….without a shred of evidence…performance related or otherwise…...not even guilt by association…..fair enough again….I guess. I didn’t say the Klitschkos could beat Foreman or even lennox…I very emphatically stated that they could defeat Ali and more than that they both have what it takes to beat both Holmes and yes, Tyson.

  41. George Thomas Clark 09:52am, 04/27/2014

    Irish Frankie Crawford - the Klits are great boxers but not close to Ali’s league of surviving wars and then prevailing.  Ali had a granitic chin.  Wladimir, to put it charitably, does not.  Ali would have avoided much of what Wlad threw, absorbed the rest, and then put the big guy on his ass.  Ali and Foreman were certainly capable of doing what Lamon Brewster and Corrie Sanders did, and that’s KO Klitschko.  Wladimir is great as long as his opponents are incapable of fighting back, and it’s a testament to his size and skill that so few can.  But Ali and Foreman could’ve fought back and would’ve while showing their immeasurably better chins.  Wlad is a great boxer but in a war the resourceful and indefatigable Ali, The Greatest would’ve had too much.  Vitali is a better Eastern Front fighter than Wlad, but even an end-of-the-line Lennox Lewis busted him up.  And don’t bother noting Vitali was leading about half way into the fight.  Lewis was coming on. 

    And by the way, since in a recent post you denounced Juan Manuel Marquez for taking PEDs - and he obviously did - isn’t it about time we starting asking how guys in the 38-40 range are ripped like Hercules and far better than they were when young.  Isn’t it time we surmised that the K’s, especialy Wlad, are the Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds of boxing.

  42. Pete The Sneak 07:44am, 04/27/2014

    Say what you want about the level of competition put in front of Vladdy, but the dude looks like he’s in tremendous shape…Peace.

  43. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 07:39am, 04/27/2014

    It’s all good until Wladimir lands that first jab with serious intentions….then the whining begins about the weak heavyweight division….when the truth is this….both K Bros would have kicked Ali’s sanctified, glorified, and deified ass right up onto his shoulders. Which reminds me…..never has the P4P list been promoted more in the public realm than the last ten years or so that these two brothers were the best fist fighters in the world.

  44. Darrell 07:23pm, 04/26/2014

    I did say in a previous post that Leapai would be clubbed like a baby seal.  Totally expected result.  Agree entirely with the author, Leapai should never have been anywhere near the same ring, let alone in it, with Wlad Klitschko.  One has to wonder if the matchmakers & sanctioning organisations are all that concerned about the fighters safety…...it would seem not, but I guess in their defense Leapai obviously jumped through the prerequisite hoops to get there.  Pretty easy hoops to get through in this case.

    I wouldn’t even rate Leapai the best heavyweight in Australia or New Zealand.  Young Kiwi Joseph Parker, who beat Nascimento of Brazil in the undercard, is a definite comer…..also Lucas Brown is a big tough nut.

    Can’t say the division is really that bad, there are some good fighters and good fights, two of them happening soon (Arreola/Stiverne & Fury/Chisora II).

  45. George Thomas Clark 04:43pm, 04/26/2014

    And now Wlad has emphasized his admiration for Bernard Hopkins and his longevity and will probably campaign a few more years, unless he loses.
    In the highlights he looked slim and quick as well as powerful.  Quite a stud…

  46. Tex Hassler 03:55pm, 04/26/2014

    There is a glaring shortage of qualified contenders for Klitschko to fight so he has to fight what is put in front of him and fight he does.

  47. Koolz 03:20pm, 04/26/2014

    I thought he was going to KO him in the fourth but I was wrong.
    Even though Lepai was a walking punching bag Wladimir showed some great if not fantastic Boxing Skills! 

    To bad he doesn’t understand or know the situation in his Own Country!
    Welcome to Ukraine slave to the IMF.

    Bring on the Next Hopeful!

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