BERLIN: Wladimir Klitschko says he expects ‘pure violence’ when he defends his world heavyweight titles against Australia’s Alex Leapai in a fortnight.
Klitschko, 38, will be defending his World Boxing Association, International Boxing Federation, World Boxing Organization and International Boxing Organization belts in Oberhausen, Germany, on April 26 against the 34-year-old Leapai, who has vowed to “go to war” with the reigning champion.
“He is the underdog—but he can also bite,” Klitschko told German daily Bild.
“Leapai will try and beat me with pure violence.
“Technique and tactics aren’t his strengths. He’s lacking the experience and I’ll use that against him.
“I’ll demonstrate that I’m the strongest boxer in the world. My mission isn’t over yet.”
Leapai, 34, has a 30-4-3 career record since turning professional in 2004, while Klitschko is 61-3 with 51 knock-outs and his last defeat is now a decade ago.
The world-title fight takes place just before Australia and New Zealand’s ANZAC Day, to commemorate their soldiers killed in battle, and Leapai has said he will prove he is a “warrior too” and will bring Klitschko’s belts home.
The Ukraine champion says he is still feeling the loss of legendary coach Emanuel ‘Manny’ Steward who died in October 2012.
“Perhaps it sounds a little crazy, but when I am in the gym I still hear his voice,” said Klitschko.
“He whispers things in my ear when I am in the ring.
“We had previously talked about things for hours, from which I still benefit today.
“We still do things today exactly how Emanuel wanted them to be done.
“It starts with the small things.
“I feel his spirit, his strength and I always definitely know whether or not he is happy with my training.”