Klitschko knocks out Aussie challenger Leapai
Undisputed world heavyweight champion Vladimir Klitschko retained his titles with a fifth-round knockout of Australian challenger Alex Leapai.
Ukraine's Klitschko defended his WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO belts in Oberhausen, Germany, and was in complete control of his 25th world title fight as he knocked out Leapai after two minutes, five seconds of the fifth round.
"It wasn't easy, because my head was with my countrymen in Ukraine. What is going on in my home country is the concern of the whole world," said Klitschko, who landed 147 punches compared to Leapai's mere 10.
"I hope that the politicians in my home country will find a peaceful solution, I am proud of my people."
Klitschko picked up the 53rd knockout of his career in his 62nd victory in 65 fights. He had Leapai down three times before the referee stepped in.
"You gave everything, respect," the champion said to Leapai. The 34-year-old Leapai had few answers and failed to live up to his pre-fight promises to knock Klitschko out.
"I'm alright, I want to thank Vladimir for the opportunity. He showed why he's the champion," said the humbled Samoan-born challenger who suffered the fifth defeat of his career.
Both fighters tipped the scales at 112kg, but Klitschko had just over double the victories, compared to Leapai's 24 knockouts in 30 wins, and had a 15cm height advantage.
A heavy right from Klitschko put Leapai on the canvas midway through the first round and the Ukrainian champion was landing his shots at will in the second round.
A sharp left hook caught Leapai in the fourth and a heavy right hand from Klitschko midway through the fifth caught Leapai flush on the side of the head and effectively ended the fight.
Leapai was back on his feet by the count of seven, but Klitschko moved in and quickly had the Australian back on the canvas again as the referee waved the end of the fight.