By Adrian Warren
Regular Wladimir Klitschko sparring partner Sherman Williams has launched an extraordinary tirade against the heavyweight boxing champion, saying he is ready to be knocked out by Australian underdog Alex Leapai.
The Queenslander flew to Germany on Saturday ready to cause an upset against overwhelming favourite Klitschko in Oberhausen next weekend.
Florida-based journeyman Williams, who says he has been part of 10 or 11 of Klitschko's camps, labelled the quadruple heavyweight titleholder a whiner and a softie.
Brought in to emulate Leapai's style, Williams claimed he had been smashing Klitschko in sparring, and the champion wasn't prepared to fight.
He said Klitschko's trainers were acting as referees, screaming for the boxers to break during sparring after he hit the Ukrainian with body shots.
"Every shot I've hit him with was clean body shots," Williams said.
"I've hit him with vicious liver shots and he's bawling, claiming he's getting hit on his nuts.
"At the moment, I think he's ready to be beaten. He's ready to be knocked out.
"If Alex is prepared physically and he's mentally and spiritually together, the Aussies can have a new champion come next week."
Not surprisingly, Williams expects a successful Leapai challenge to involve the much smaller Australian working his way inside.
"My advice to Alex first and foremost, as soon as the bell rings, is to get right into his chest and hit him with vicious rights and lefts to the body, get in behind the jab and throw overhand rights," Williams said.
"If he can catch Wladimir on the chin with an overhand right, the fight is over.
"Wladimir, doesn't like body shots, so he's got to make Wladimir very uncomfortable."
Klitschko, who has won his past 19 fights, will enjoy enormous height and reach advantages - 15cm and 16cm, respectively - over Leapai.
"I can guarantee if Alex goes straight at him, (Klitschko) is going to be like an octopus, because my shoulder is sore, my back is sore," Williams said.
"He jumps all over my back and my neck as a defence, so my advice would be to take the fight straight to him, hit him with body shots and go for the chin."