Sports briefs: Wladimir Klitschko knocks out Alex Leapai in fifth round

Published April 26, 2014 8:00 pm
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BOXING • Wladimir Klitschko toyed with Alex Leapai and knocked him out in the fifth round to retain his four heavyweight belts on Saturday in Oberhausen, Germany.

Klitschko, taller with a longer reach, controlled the fight at will, scoring with left jabs and straight rights with hardly any opposition from the Samoan-born Australian.

Leapai went down when he was hit with a left-right combination. He got up but Klitschko put him away for good with 58 seconds left in the fifth.

"Glory to Ukraine," Klitschko said after his one-sided win.

Klitschko recorded his 53rd KO in 62 wins, with three defeats. Leapai dropped to 30-5, with three draws. In his 25th world championship fight, Klitschko retained his WBA and IBF heavyweight belts, plus the minor WBO and IBO versions.

Sharapova to face Ivanovic in final

TENNIS • Two-time defending champion Maria Sharapova cruised past Sara Errani 6-1, 6-2 to reach her third straight Porsche Grand Prix final in Stuttgart, Germany. Sharapova will play Ana Ivanovic in the final. Ivanovic, looking for her third title of the year, beat Jelena Jankovic 6-3, 7-5 in an all-Serb match.

• Santiago Giraldo of Colombia beat Nicolas Almagro 7-5, 6-3 to reach the Barcelona Open final, as his Spanish rival suffered a letdown after ousting top-ranked Rafael Nadal. Giraldo will face fourth-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan after he beat Ernests Gulbis of Latvia 6-2, 6-4 in the other semifinal on the red outdoor clay.

Power claims IndyCar pole in Alabama

AUTO RACING • Will Power won the pole position for the third time at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala. The two-time Barber winner posted the time to beat fairly early Saturday in Fast Six qualifying for IndyCar's Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. James Hinchcliffe starts second after sitting out the final few minutes, followed by defending champion Ryan Hunter-Reay, Josef Newgarden, Scott Dixon and Helio Castroneves. Power and fellow Team Penske driver Castroneves combined to claim the pole and the win in each of the first three years at the track.

U.S. beats Jamaicain 400-meter relay

track • Olympic medalists Walter Dix and Justin Gatlin helped Team USA overcame a controversial opening leg to edge Jamaica by a hundredth of a second in the 400-meter relay in the Penn Relays on Saturday in Philadelphia, and the Americans won four of six events in the "U.S.A. vs. The World" races.

Charles Silmon and Mookie Salaam also were on the winning relay team that finished in 37.58 seconds at Franklin Field.

"Our first-leg guy, Charles Silmon, got bumped by the Nigerian guy that was inside but he held it together," Gatlin said.

Team USA added victories in the women's 1,600 relay, the men's distance medley relay and the women's sprint medley relay.

• Kristi Castlin snapped Bri Rollins' 19-race winning streak in the women's 100-meter hurdles at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa. Castlin and Rollins both crossed in 12.58 seconds. But Castlin beat the defending world champion by five-thousands of a second.

The Associated Press

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