Australian heavyweight Alex Leapai will have a shot at a historic world title fight, with Ukrainian champion Wladimir Klitschko announcing he will defend his WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles against the underdog challenger.
Klitschko’s management company says the bout, which will take place at Oberhausen in Germany on April 26, will be the Ukrainian fighter’s 25th world championship fight.
The 183cm Leapai defeated the previously unbeaten Denis Boytsov in November to become the WBO’s mandatory challenger.
The 34-year-old, who was born in Samoa, has a 30-4-3 record with 24 knockouts since turning professional in 2004.
“I’ll beat Wladimir and it won’t even be my toughest fight,” Leapai said.
“Everyone talks to me about Wladimir’s 61 victories and how great he is, but all I’m thinking about are his three defeats against opponents who can’t strike as hard as I can,” said Leapai in a statement.
Leapai will be the first Australian to challenge for the world heavyweight title in 106 years.
The 37-year-old Klitschko, who comfortably defeated Russian Alexander Povetkin in Moscow in October, is 61-3 with 52 KOs.
“I am wary, but I will prepare myself as well as I can and I’m looking forward to a great challenge,” said Klitschko, who will turn 38 in March.
Klitschko’s older brother Vitali, the former WBC champion, has stepped back from boxing to concentrate on politics in their native Ukraine.