Wladimir Klitschko vs. Alex Leapai: Fight Time, Date, Live Stream, TV Info, More

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Wladimir Klitschko vs. Alex Leapai: Fight Time, Date, Live Stream, TV Info, More
Martin Meissner

On Saturday, Alex "Lionheart" Leapai (30-4-3, 24 KO) will get his opportunity to solve the Wladimir Klitschko (61-3, 51 KO) riddle at the Koenig Pilsener Arena in Germany.

Klitschko will be putting his IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles on the line.

This will be the 38-year-old Ukrainian's 16th title defense. He hasn't lost a fight in 10 years.

Leapai is an unlikely challenger, but he earned this matchup when he upset previously unbeaten heavyweight Denis Boytsov in Nov. 2013.

No one is giving the short and stocky Samoan from Australia much of a chance. But crazy things happen in boxing all the time.

Will Germany be the next site for the unthinkable? If it is, fight fans in the United States will have an opportunity to watch it live.

ESPN bought the rights to broadcast the fight, and it will also be available via live stream on Watch ESPN.

Here's the breakdown.


When: Saturday, April 26 at 5 p.m. ET

Where: Koenig Pilsener Arena in Germany

TV: ESPN and ESPN Deportes

Live Stream: Watch ESPN


The Book on Klitschko

Martin Meissner

A champion is only as great as the opponents he's conquered.

Because Klitschko has reigned for a decade over a listless group of big men in the sport, he doesn't get the credit someone with his accomplishments normally would.

Critics can say what they want about him, but Klitschko has fought everyone there is to fight during his career.

It's not his fault the division is devoid of the names, personalities and talents from more popular eras for the weight class.

Because he's the heavyweight champion of the world, everyone wants a piece of him and the money that comes with facing him.

Most recently, former heavyweight champion Shannon Briggs has come calling. Yes, that Shannon Briggs.

Martin Meissner

I'm not sure what's worse: the fact that Briggs has shown up to disrupt and verbally assault Klitschko twice (via New York Daily News), or that his efforts might actually earn him a shot.

To top it all off, a Klitschko-Briggs bout might be just as competitive as Wlad's last 15 defenses.

Such is the state of the heavyweight division.  


The Book on Leapai

Martin Meissner

The 34-year-old Australian is giving up six inches in height and reach to Klitschko. He's also had 27 less professional fights.

Aside from his win over Boytsov, Leapai hasn't faced anyone most fight fans have ever heard of.

I'd say that makes him a pretty big long shot to win the heavyweight championship. Even against those odds, Leapai is steadfast in his belief that he can shock the world.

He told Brent Read of The Australian (subscription required):

Whatever motivation he’s got ... he’s going to have to rip my heart out to beat me. This guy is no different to me. He’s just another human being — two arms, two legs and a heartbeat. On the night it comes down to who wants it more.

I am telling you, I am going to beat this guy. I have always been the underdog.

ESPN UK's Steve Bunce isn't sure about Leapai's chances to win, but he knows Lionheart will give it his all.

Bunce writes:

In recent years a dozen men have surrendered at the end of Wladimir's fists without trying to win, which sounds harsh but is the truth: Leapai will not be part of that inglorious batch of failures. He will go down swinging and preying that one of his Samoan Bowlers lands on Wladimir's chops.

Will such a primitive plan have any chance of success against a man who has become an expert at protecting his suspect chin?


Who wins Klitschko-Leapai, and how?

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Prediction

Leapai has an intriguing appearance. He looks like a tough guy who can crack. His 24 KOs suggest there's some truth to it. But that combination isn't going to get it done against Klitschko.

Leapai didn't look good in his loss to Kevin Johnson in 2012. He was stopped in the ninth round, as it appeared the American's length gave him issues.

What will he do on Saturday?

Wladimir is an expert at using his size to keep smaller heavyweights away from his chin and body.

Referees have routinely allowed him to push off and to measure (both technically against the rules). This has made him even tougher to handle.

Couple that with solid hand speed and punishing power, and you have one of the most untouchable champions in the sport.

Klitschko will win again. Leapai's lion heart won't keep him from being stopped on Saturday.

 

Follow me. I'm addicted to the sweet science.

@BMaziqueFPBR

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