Wladimir Klitschko vs. Francesco Pianeta possible for April 6th in Hannover
By Allan Fox: The talked about fight between IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (59-3, 50 KO’s) and Fres Oquendo won’t be happening for April 6th. Instead, the 36-year-old Wladimir Klitschko looks to be targeting the unbeaten #12 WBA fringe contender Francesco Pianeta (28-0-1, 15 KO’s) for a match-up that will be staged in Hannover, Niedersachsen, Germany.
According to Dan Rafael of ESPN, the 6’5” Pianeta has been approved by the German television network RTL.
The southpaw Pianeta is almost as tall as the 6’6” Wladimir, but that’s as far as the similarities go. Pianeta has zero power and few defensive skills. He’s still unbeaten but he’s been matched against poor opposition his entire 8 year pro career, which is why he’s only ranked in the top 15 by one of the sanctioning bodies.
Pianeta’s handlers have been reluctant to put him in with 1st tier opposition, and that’s understandable because Pianeta has struggled badly even against the 2nd tier opponents he’s been in with. He has a questionable 12 round draw against Albert Sosnowski from 2009 in a fight that he appeared to lose.
Pianeta also struggled in fights against 47-year-old Oliver McCall and little known Samir Kurtagic. He’s not looked in any of his fights, and it’s surprising that he’s even ranked #12 by the World Boxing Association because he doesn’t look good enough to be a top tier fighter.
It’s unclear what’s happened with Wladimir. He’s become risk adverse ever since his win over former WBA heavyweight champion David Haye in 2011. Wladimir was supposed to fight WBA heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin next after the WBA ordered the fight, but for some reason Wladimir and his team insisted on an optional title defense. If Pianeta is the guy that Wladimir will be facing then it’s going to give the impression to boxing fans that Wladimir is looking to milk his titles with the time that he’s got left as a champion.
Why would Wladimir look to put off a much better fight against Povetkin for a fight against a guy with an inflated record build on weak opposition? Wladimir can’t say that he’s using the 6’5” southpaw Pianeta to get ready for Povetkin because they are nothing alike. Povetkin is a 6’2” pressure fighter, whereas Pianeta is a tall slapper in the same mold as Tony Thompson, but weaker than him. Pianeta makes Thompson look like a world champion.
For some reason Wladimir is facing nothing but weak heavyweight opposition. Since the Haye fight, Wladimir has beaten Jean Marc Mormeck, Thompson and Mariusz Wach. He could have fought Kubrat Pulev, Tyson Fury and Povetkin during that time but instead is focusing on weaker opposition for some reason.
Is Wladimir just looking to milk his titles for all they’re worth for the remainder of his career? It’s hard to say but there’s no questioning the fact that he’s not been challenging himself in the past two years since the Haye fight.