Boxing News 2014: A Tale of 2 Boxers – Russian Wladimir Klitschko vs Australian Alex Leapai Vie for World Heavyweight Title on April 27 in Germany (VIDEOS)
By Vittorio Hernandez | March 3, 2014 10:38 AM EST
While the attention of the boxing world is on two major fights on April 12 and May 3, in between those dates is a third match featuring a Ukrainian boxer and an Australian pugilist battling for the world heavyweight title on April 27.
British boxer Dereck Chisora (right) spits water in the face of Ukrainian boxer Vladimir Klitschko.
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The match will likely also draw global attention if only for the fact that the Ukrainian WBA, IBF and WBO title holder is the brother of the country's likely next president who is himself a boxing champion.
He is Dr Wladimir Klitschko, younger brother of Vitali Klitschko. His credentials are a sharp contrast to his opponent, Alex Leapai, 34, from Australia.
The 37-year-old Klitschko was born Volodymyr Volodymyrovych Klychko at a Soviet air force base in Kazakhstan. He holds a PhD in Sports Science degree from the Kiev University.
Leapai, born in Samoa, spent six months at the maximum security of the Woodford Correctional Centre near Brisbane for beating up nightclub bouncers. He used to be an alcoholic and drug addict.
Klitschko stands at 198 cm, while Leapia is 183 cm. The Aussie boxer dreams of becoming the country first world heavyweight champion after the failed attempt 106 years ago by Bill Squires of Narrabri. He trains twice or thrice a week in the shed of trainer Noel Thornberry in Gatton, driving 200 km from his Slacks Creek home.
Klitschko divides his time between Ukraine and the U.S. where his fiancé, TV actress Hayden Panathere, is based. She stars in the TV show Nashville.
He won the Olympic super-heavyweight gold medal in 1996 and turned professional in 2000, beating American boxer Chris Byrd in Cologne. He returns to Oberhausenm Germany, for his bout with Leapai on April 27 (Australian time).
Leapai got the world attention when be defeated previously unbeaten Russian boxer Denis Boystov in their last match.
Klitschko left Kiev on Feb 11 when it was still relatively quiet. Since then, a lot has happened in Ukraine, including their president fleeing the country, opening the door for his older brother to become the president, with election set on May 25.
He admits boxing has taken a secondary importance in his life as he monitors what is happening in his native land.
"How can I even think about boxing when my fellow countrymen and women are being murdered in the streets of Kiev?," Daily Mail quoted the Ukrainian boxer.
He disclosed that he speaks to his brother daily the past few weeks by phone to keep himself abreast of developments in Kiev.
Klitschko said, "I worried about his safety during the days when people peacefully demonstrating on the Maidan were being shot by snipers. It is far more dangerous being a Ukrainian politician than a boxer."
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