By James Slater: Samoan slugger Alex Leapai scored an impressive-looking 4th-round KO over Russian giant Evgeny Orlov yesterday in Queensland, Australia; dropping the big man for the count with a huge right uppercut to the chin. Now 24-3-3(19) overall but currently on a 16-fight win streak, the 32-year-old is making new fans all the time with his “fun to watch” style.
Okay, 33-year-old Orlov, now 13-10-1(8) is no world-beater, but he is huge at 6’9” and 316-pounds – and the way the 6.0” 235-pound contender got rid of “The Molecule From Hell” was impressive. Leapai, known as “Lion Heart,” had some problems early on, and Orlov was deducted a point in the 2nd for pushing his opponent’s head down. But the conclusion to the bout was sizzling and there is no doubting Leapai’s power – at a certain level anyway.
So far, Leapai has bagged decent wins over the likes of Travis Walker (a controversial stoppage, but a sensational little slugfest; check it out on You Tube!), Darnell Wilson, Owen Beck and Bob Mirovic. Having come on a lot since his last loss – a 2008 split decision loss to Colin Wilson – Leapai is now making good progress. Still, fans will have a hard time listening to what Leapai had to say about the Klitschko brothers.
“Orlov was difficult because of his size and style,” Leapai said to Fightnews.com. “But I knew it was only a matter of time before I landed a bomb. If I hit Wladimir or Vitali Klitschko with the same punch they would be counted out also.”
It looks unlikely that Leapai will get a chance to prove his claim; in the coming months anyway. Both brothers have fights lined up, and it’s probably fair to say they have not yet heard of Leapai. But if the exciting slugger keeps on winning, who knows? With such a shortage of adequate heavyweight title challengers out there, maybe Leapai and his team will find themselves in title shot range before too long.
In the meantime, Leapai’s fan base continues to grow. Rarely in a boring fight, always in top shape, and hungry, the Australian-based contender gives value for money when he fights. I’d love to see Leapai pack his passport and face a known name in the U.S (so far he has fought in only Australia, new Zealand and Indonesia).
How about Leapai taking on a Franklin Lawrence, a Monte Barrett, a Kevin Johnson or a Fres Oquendo? It may be time for Leapai to introduce himself to the American audience.