Chalk up another easy win for Wladimir Klitschko, who notched his 16th heavyweight title defense on Saturday in Germany against Alex Leapai to retain his IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles.
According to the ESPN broadcast, Klitschko's barrage earned him a 147-10 advantage in the punches landed department through five dreadful rounds of action that saw the Samoan hit the mat in the first round and twice in the fifth before the referee put an end to the slaughter.
SportsCenter has the scoop:
Wladimir Klitschko retains World Heavyweight Title! Klitschko DOMINATES and wins by fifth-round TKO of Alex Leapai. pic.twitter.com/FpEYe6hWIl— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 26, 2014
Where each fighter goes from here is quite obvious.
Klitschko took care of business in his 16th title defense. Mike Wise of the Washington Post helps to explain why this reflects poorly on the rest of the division:
The fact that Klitschko is making his 16th title defense on ESPN right now basically tells you what happened to the heavyweight division.— Mike Wise (@MikeWiseguy) April 26, 2014
Not good enough? Consider this—Leapai was the No. 1 contender. Imagine what the guys in line behind him would have done against the Ukrainian juggernaut. The delivery truck driver's thoughts after the match? ESPN has the comical post-fight interview.
"I tried to take the fight to him and it didn't work. I am all right, I was waiting for my opportunity but he is a champion and a great fighter," Leapai said.
Suffice it to say, Leapai didn't move his head enough and absorbed an inordinate amount of punishment. He won't be getting another title shot any time soon.
But what about the champ?
Enthusiasts want to see Klitschko take on some real competition, although the fact remains he has bullied most of the current division. Bouts with Deontay Wilder, Dereck Chisora and Tyson Fury sound great, as does a potential showdown with American Shannon Briggs, who shares many of the same thoughts:
Fake? Maybe, but Briggs wound up hospitalized after losing to Wladimir's brother Vitali back in 2010.
That in itself speaks to the iron fist by which the brothers have ruled the division, with the current champ well on his way to being one of the greatest of all time from a statistical standpoint—although the quality of his competition, which is no fault of his own, may put that up for debate.
As Boxing News points out, in an ideal world his next opponent will be picked in a different manner:
Five round victory waltz for Wladimir Klitschko. Now for someone in the top 20 of an independent rankings system if we're lucky #boxing— Boxing News (@BoxingNewsED) April 26, 2014
Now 38 years old, one has to think Klitschko's time at the top will naturally come to an end sooner rather than later, so it's a disservice to the sport and fans if he doesn't take on the best possible opposition in the coming years.
Perhaps the next opponent is Kubrat Pulev. Maybe it's Briggs or Fury. The committee could always step in and force another defense against a mandatory opponent. Regardless, Klitschko hasn't left a shred of doubt in anyone's mind that he's the best in the world and needs to face the stiffest competition possible.