Klitschko vs. Leapai: What Lionheart's Weight Will Mean in Saturday's Bout

Brian Mazique@@UniqueMaziqueCorrespondent IIIApril 26, 2014

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 17:  Alex Leapai poses during a sparring session at The Corporate Box Gym on April 17, 2014 in Brisbane, Australia. Leapai is in training for his April 26th World Heavyweight title bout in Germany against Wladmir Klitschko.  (P
Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Alex "Lionheart" Leapai weighed in at 112.5 kg (248 pounds) at Friday's weigh-in for his heavyweight scrap with WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO champion Wladimir Klitschko, per WBA News.

The champion tipped the scales at just less than Leapai. Klitschko was a svelte 112.2 kg (247.3 pounds).

There isn't much that's strange in the numbers until you consider the two fighters' heights.

Klitschko stands 6'6". His weight is evenly distributed across a sculpted heavyweight frame. Leapai is six inches shorter.

To say the least, he'll be carrying his weight differently.

One might suggest that this will mean Leapai is in no shape to go the distance with Klitschko, or that the 34-year-old Australian of Samoan descent is likely to gas out around the fifth round.

All of that is probably true, but if Leapai's plan of attack works, he won't need a multitude of rounds to shock the world.

There's no way even the most lean version of Leapai would have a chance to out-point Klitschko. His only chance is to land a big shot that reminds fans how fragile Klitschko's chin can be.

In a sense, it's almost similar to a power hitter who strikes out a lot. There's an old adage that says swing hard in case you hit it. For Leapai, he'll be strong and heavy in case he connects on a life-changing punch.

Of Leapai's 30 wins, 24 of them have come by KO. So this wouldn't be a departure from his normal style.

Fellow Australian fighter Lucas Browne thinks his countryman has only a slim puncher's chance to beat Klitschko.

Per the Guardian, Browne said:

"Alex has a puncher's chance. He doesn't have the skills to beat him."

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 02:  Alex Leapai of Australia hits the pads during a media session at PCYC Gym on April 2, 2014 in Gold Coast, Australia. Lepai is in training for his April 26th World Heavyweight title bout in Germany against Wladmir Klitsch
Chris Hyde/Getty Images

That's a pretty accurate assessment, but the extra weight may actually increase the chances Browne refers to.

Klitschko likes to push his opponents away to create space. Oftentimes, he measures (which is technically illegal) to maintain distance.

A heavier man with a lower center of gravity might be a little more difficult to manhandle.

The key for Leapai will be to take his shots when he does get inside. Banging the body and taking aim at the champion's head with vicious intentions are his best bet.

Per Martin Domin of The Daily Mail, Leapai is talking the usual strong pre-fight game. Leapai said:

I will break Wladimir and it will not be my hardest fight. He has been champion now for 10 years. He has been comfortable. But he is going to fight somebody who is hungry and determined to make history.

Predicting a Leapai upset is not wise but imagining how it could happen isn't the most difficult concept to grasp.

A big puncher lands a huge shot. Another big man who has been stopped before goes down. We've seen it happen before.

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 29:  Alex Leapai raises his arm before their bout at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre on January 29, 2011 in Gold Coast, Australia.  (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)
Matt Roberts/Getty Images

A week or so after the fight, we'll be talking about the upstart Australian who changed the face of the heavyweight division, or trying to remember the name of the last guy Klitschko demolished.

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