Wladimir Klitschko (61-3 51KO) will step through the ropes later this month to defend his plethora of titles but the question has to be asked: Why?
The Ukrainian – holder of the WBA, WBO, IBF, IBO and The Ring straps – is a record breaker among the heavyweight ranks but has done little in his career to appeal to boxing purists.
An argument can be made that he can only fight what is put in front of him but the April 26th clash with part-time delivery man Alex Leapai (30-4-3 24KO) – for which he is the 1/16 favourite – will do little to enhance his legacy.
Klitschko’s resume is distinctly devoid of big names – with Britain’s David Haye arguably his most notable scalp – and fights like this do little to spark excitement.
Granted, he finds himself dominating an era not blessed with a variety of top talent but Dr Steelhammer could endear himself to the masses by taking on the few rated fighters out there in the likes of Tyson Fury or dangerous American Deontay Wilder.
Such bouts will have to wait though and for the moment punters can make the most of this title fight by backing the Ukrainian to bag his 52nd career KO against his Australian-Samoan opponent.
There is little doubt that the champion will win inside the distance, with a KO or TKO on at 1/7, so the value comes from predicting how long the man known (by his family at least) as The Lionheart will last.
While Klitschko has his detractors when his place in the all-time rankings is questioned, there is no doubt that the gap in talents between these two will be vast.
As such backing Klitschko for victory inside the first six rounds could be viewed as licence to print money at evens.
It’s true that Leapai has only been stopped inside the distance twice so earnest followers of form could be tempted by the 6/4 on the underdog making it to the seventh or beyond but he hasn’t shared a ring with anyone of Klitshcko’s calibre so the 14/1 on a first round KO could provide better value.
One thing is for certain though, at 38-years-old time is running out for Dr Steelhammer to face an opponent that will boost his legacy and earn him a deserved spot in the hall of fame.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim up to £50 in free bets.