Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko has retained the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles with a fifth round knockout of Australia’s Alex Leapai.
Klitschko totally dominated a one-sided bout, felling the Samoan-born, New Zealand-raised challenger three times, once in the first and twice in the fifth.
Australia’s wait for a first universally recognised heavyweight world champion will continue after Klitschko shattered his dream.
The one occasion Leapai landed and appeared to momentarily wobble Klitschko merely triggered an unstoppable onslaught from the champion, who notched a 20th straight win and continued his ten-year victory streak.
Seemingly stung into action, he retaliated immediately, sending Leapai to the canvas.
A stunned Leapai got to his feet, but a follow up flurry of right hands from Klitschko put him down again and referee Eddie Cotton waved the fight off without completing the count.
Klitschko felled Leapai around 60 seconds into the opening round, landing with two quick blows.
Just before that first knockdown, Leapai had shouldered his much taller opponent into the ropes in what appeared to be a statement of intent.
However, it was a rare moment of aggression from Leapai, who until that fateful moment in the fifth barely landed a telling punch.
The 16cm reach advantage proved too difficult for Leapai to overcome, with the 34-year-old Queenslander unable to work his way inside.
Klitschko methodically picked apart the Australian from outside, landing his jab at will as he dominated each round.
“I tried to get inside but Wladimir kept sticking the jab out,” Leapai said.
“It’s not the end of the road … I’ll be back.”
Leapai lived in New Zealand for six years as a child before shifting to Queensland with his family at age 12.