Power Shots: News and Views on the Heavyweight Division
By Johnny Walker
SUNDAY BLOODY SUNDAY DOWN UNDER
This Sunday in Brisbane, Australia, Alex “The Lionheart” Leapai (25-3-3, 20 KOs) will take on American Kevin “Kingpin” Johnson (25-1-1, 11 KOs) in an intriguing heavyweight matchup billed as “Sunday Bloody Sunday.”
Leapai is another Samoan powerhouse along the lines of the recently retired David “Tuamanator” Tua, making up for his lack of height (he’s six feet tall, short in today’s heavyweight division) with explosive knockout power that has some (perhaps overexcited) observers to comparing him to Mike Tyson.
In a recent interview with ABC Sports, Leapai appears to take Johnson—who lost badly to Vitali Klitschko in late 2009, earning him the name “Safety Pin”—lightly, and in a familiar refrain, says he’s ready to take on the world heavyweight champion Klitschko brothers.
“I’m the one to bring boxing back to life,” Leapai offers. “Just like [Mike] Tyson, he was only five foot eleven … size didn’t matter to him, same thing for me.
“It doesn’t matter how tall you are, doesn’t matter how big you are, they all hit the canvas.
“I’m ready to take on the Klitschkos now.”
Forgive us if we say we’ve heard that one before. Perhaps the Lionheart should worry a bit more about Johnson–a cagey boxer who, while he laid negatively in the ropes all night against Vitali, still managed to mark the WBC champion’s face up with a hard jab–before he starts looking toward Germany.
Johnson marks a significant step up in class for Leapai. If the Samoan looks impressive in this one, maybe his bravado will ring a little less hollow.
CHISORA AND HAYE: A FIGHT THAT HAS TO HAPPEN
Those of us (like this writer) who want to see a battle of the Brits between heavyweights David Haye and Dereck “Del Boy” Chisora got a shot in the arm this week from Chisora’s promoter, Frank Warren.
After confirming that Chisora is challenging a recent British Boxing Board of Control ruling banning him from the ring indefinitely for his antics in Germany before and after his brave losing effort against Vitali Klitschko (“The grounds for the appeal are that we’re not satisfied with the way the hearing went”), Warren said that he is determined to see his man take on the former WBA world heavyweight champion.
“It’s a natural fight, it doesn’t matter what anyone says,” Warren correctly said. “It’s a bigger fight than either of them fighting Wladimir or Vitali Klitschko.”
“There’s lot for them to fight about – in a proper environment. I do see the fight happening. It’s the proper forum for them to settle their differences.”
Haye smashed Del Boy in the face with a right hand after being challenged at the Klitschko-Chisora post-fight press conference, and as he is currently “retired” has yet to face the music for his own actions from the BBBoC.
Let’s be honest, Haye did redeem himself somewhat in the eyes of the world for his wuss-out against Wladimir Klitschko last year when he cracked Chisora in Germany.
A fight between Haye and Chisora would indeed be a massive event, not only in the UK, but worldwide. It’s a grudge bout of epic proportions. We here at Boxing Insider can’t wait to see it.
“BIG TIME” MCCLINE ON THE COMEBACK TRAIL
Jameel “Big Time” McCline continues his comeback from retirement this Saturday night.
McCline (40-11-3, 24 KO’s) takes on Livin Castillo (16-11, 10 KO’s) of Atlantic City via Ecuador, as part of a fight card being held at the Hamilton Manor in Hamilton, New Jersey.
McCline, 41, retired after a knockout loss to Cristobal Arreola in 2009, but came back with a win over Dennis McKinney last December. However, McCline was upset by Harold Sconiers his last time out, dropping a majority decision to the journeyman heavyweight in February. He’ll try to get back on track against Castillo.