Klitschko brushes off jibes

Wladimir Klitschko (AFP)
Wladimir Klitschko (AFP)

Berlin - World heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko dismissed accusations of being a 'whiner' and a 'softie' from an ex-sparring partner ahead of Saturday's world title fight against Australia's Alex Leapai.

"Of course I'm a softie and a whiner, didn't you know that already?" Klitschko told SID, an AFP subsidiary.

Klitschko's former sparring partner Sherman Williams told Wednesday's edition of German daily Die Welt how Leapai can bring the world title home to Australia.

The 34-year-old Leapai has vowed to "go to war" with reigning champion Klitschko, 38, who will be defending his WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO belts in Oberhausen, Germany.

"I can only advise Alex that as soon as the first round bell sounds, go courageously straight at Klitschko," Williams, 41, told Die Welt.

"Hit him with left and right shots to the body and then hit him on the chin with the right.

"I guarantee that if Alex fights the way I tell him to, Klitschko will throw his arms around like an octopus.

"He doesn't like being hit on the shoulders and back and Australia will have a new world champion."

Williams was one of Klitschko's ten sparring partners at his Austrian training camp in preparation for the Leapai fight.

But Klitschko's manager Bernd Boente said the US-based fighter had been released early after poor performances in the ring against the champion.

"Williams was so bad in sparring that he was like a living punch bag," Boente dismissively told SID, an AFP subsidiary.

"He came totally overweight to the camp and was then sent home, so this is no more than tit for tat from him."

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