What's buzzing:

Klitschko retains WBO crown with Leapai knockout

Reuters
World heavyweight boxing champion Vladimir Klitschko of Ukraine lands a punch to defeat Australian challenger Alex Leapai during their WBO heavyweight title fight in Oberhausen
.

View photo

World heavyweight boxing champion Vladimir Klitschko of Ukraine lands a punch to defeat Australian challenger …

OBERHAUSEN Germany (Reuters) - World heavyweight champion Vladimir Klitschko easily retained his WBO crown when he knocked out Alex Leapai of Australia in the fifth round on Saturday in an overwhelmingly one-sided bout.

The 38-year-old Klitschko, who holds the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO crowns, has now been unbeaten for 10 years with his most recent defeat back in April 2004 against Lamon Brewster.

Klitschko, with his brother Vitaly - the former WBC champion and a politician in his home country - in his corner, knocked down his opponent after a few seconds in the first round, a big left-right combination sending the 34-year-old Leapai sprawling.

The Ukrainian, whose record now stands at 62 wins with 52 knockouts and three defeats, then pummelled the hapless Australian in round five, knocking him down once again before a clean knockout with less than a minute left in the round.

"Alex Leapai, I know it was not easy for you but you were up against the best fighter in the world and it was hard," Klitschko said in a ringside interview.

"Despite my 38 years I felt superb. I was in top form tonight in the ring."

Klitschko also had a special mention for his home nation, saying his preparation for the fight was not easy due to the political crisis back home with neighboring Russia.

"I trained long and hard but it was not easy. My mind was back in Ukraine and what is happening there. Politicians must find a compromise and it should not come to a war. Ukraine will not be split up and (must) remain united."

Leapai, who got a shot at the world title after his stunning win over Russian Denis Boytsov in November last year, never got much chance to fight, with the 15-centimetre taller Klitschko tormenting him with his jab and longer reach.

"I tried to go inside and avoid the jab but it did not work. It's like that when you fight the champion," Leapai said. "Now it's back to the gym. This is not the end of the road and I will come back."

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Ken Ferris)

View Comments (11)
  • A-Rod's cousin, last remaining defendant, is set to plead guilty in Florida steroids case

    A guilty plea is set for a cousin of New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez in the federal investigation into performance-enhancing drugs illegally provided to athletes through a South Florida clinic. U.S. District Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga scheduled … More »

    The Canadian Press - 24 minutes ago
  • Bernie Ecclestone casts doubt on German, Italian GPs

    Bernie Ecclestone casts doubt on German, Italian GPs

    The German Grand Prix could remain off the sport's calendar after this year's cancellation, and the iconic Italian GP may be next to go, Formula One commercial head Bernie Ecclestone said Friday. Speaking after a meeting with team leaders ahead of … More »

    AP - Sports - 26 minutes ago
  • Renault could quit F1 or buy Toro Rosso

    Renault could quit F1 or buy Toro Rosso

    By John O'Brien SEPANG, Malaysia (Reuters) - Renault say they are reviewing all their Formula One options, including quitting the sport or buying the Toro Rosso team, after stinging criticism of their engine. The French manufacturer has been at … More »

    Reuters - 46 minutes ago
  • Stoner to enter Suzuka eight hours race

    Stoner to enter Suzuka eight hours race

    (Reuters) - Double MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner will return to competition when he enters the Suzuka eight hours endurance race with a three-rider Honda team in July. "After riding the bike in Sepang a few months ago, I’ve been speaking … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 23 minutes ago
  • Ferrari stay cool in pursuit of Mercedes

    Ferrari stay cool in pursuit of Mercedes

    By John O'Brien SEPANG, Malaysia (Reuters) - Ferrari's continued resurgence in Formula One was evident on Friday with both cars looking competitive in the first two practice sessions for the Malaysian Grand Prix. Kimi Raikkonen chased home the … More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 25 minutes ago