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Tyson Fury battles Francesco Pianeta on Aug.18 at Windsor Park

Francesco Pianeta Tyson Fury Fury vs. Pianeta

By Scott Gilfoid: Tyson Fury (26-0, 19 KOs) will be facing former two time heavyweight world title challenger Francesco Pianeta (35-4-1, 21 KOs) next month on August 18 at Windsor Park, in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The Fury vs. Pianeta fight will be televised live on BT Sport.

There was a time when Pianeta wasn’t a half bad heavyweight, but unfortunately those years are long past. Nowadays, the 6’5” Pianeta looks more like a journeyman than a contender with the way that he’s losing to mere journeyman fighters. Pianeta has lost two out of his last three fights in defeats against little known prospect Petar Milas (12-0, 9 KOs) and 38-year-old journeyman Kevin ‘Kingpin’ Johnson (32-10-1, 16 KOs). Pianeta was shockingly stopped in the 7th round by Johnson last year on October 14 in Germany. This is the type of opponent that Pianeta is expected to beat. The fact that Johnson handled Pianeta so easily shows how much of his game he’s lost since he challenged former heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko five years ago on May 4, 2013. Pianeta was competitive against Wladimir before being stopped in the 6th round. In July 2015, Pianeta was stopped in the 1st round by former World Boxing Association heavyweight champion Ruslan Chagaev. Since then, Pianeta has posted a 4-2 record. Pianeta’s wins have come against Hasan Olaki, Edi Delibataoglu, Ozcan Cetokaya and Daso Simeunovic.

The obvious question one must ask is why is Fury facing Pianeta rather than the two guys that recently beat him in Kevin Johnson or Petar Milas? It makes sense to match Fury up with one of those guys, right? If the argument for matching Fury against Pianeta is the fact that he’s a former heavyweight world title challenger, then you can say the same thing about Kevin Johnson. He not only challenged for a heavyweight title against former WBC champion Vitali Klitschko in December 2009, he beat Pianeta recently. Johnson has a lot more going for him right now than Pianeta. Johnson gave Vitali Klitschko a much better fight than Piaeta did against Wladimir and Chagaev in losing efforts in world title fights.

This will be the 29-year-old Fury’s second bout after returning to the ring from a two and one-half year layoff from boxing. Fury’s first fight of his comeback came last month in beating cruiserweight Sefer Seferi by a 4th round knockout on June 9 at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England. The 6’9” Fury looked abominably bad against Seferi. Fury looked so bad that he had Tony Bellew calling him out. Seferi chose to call it quits after round 4. For the first two rounds, Seferi was making Fury look bad. It wasn’t until Seferi stopped throwing punches that Fury was able to impose his size to take command of the fight. However, it was alarming how bad Fury looked. The only reason he didn’t lose the fight was because of how horrible Seferi was. A halfway decent heavyweight would have sent Fury skittering to his first career defeat.

“The Seferi fight is history and Pianeta is a far better operator than him. His level of opposition tells you that,” Queensbury promoter Frank Warren said. “Tyson had been out of boxing for a long time and Pianeta is a good opponent for what is Tyson’s second fight back after his break. He needs rounds under his belt before moving on to the next level and this fight will do that and make him work for his win,” Warren said.

I don’t think Pianeta is the guy that can give Fury rounds unless he stays in 1

st gear and doesn’t attempt to push the face against the 6’5” German fighter. If Fury shows any kind of aggression, he’ll probably knock Pianeta out in the 1st round the way that Chagaev did. Pianeta looks so shot at this point in his career that it’s not even funny. Pianeta was always flawed even during the best years of his career, but he’s well past his prime now that he’s 33-years-old and is losing to journeymen and prospects.

Fury is trying to accomplish the glory he had in defeating former unified heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko by a 12 round unanimous decision in November 2015. Fury captured the IBF, WBA, WBO and Ring heavyweight titles with the win over Wladimir. Unfortunately, Fury then lost all the belts after his life spun out of control with problems outside of the ring.

Former WBO heavyweight champion Shannon Briggs said this week that he’s going to go looking for Fury, because he wants a fight against him. Briggs says Fury is ducking out on him and he plans on forcing the issue.

”I’m getting ready for Tyson Fury,” Briggs said on his Instagram. ”Believe it or not, it’s going to happen. He’s trying to back out too, but I ain’t going to let it happen, champ. Guess where I’m going? I’m going to his crib. Let’s go champ! I’m going looking for you champ,” Briggs said.

So there it is. Briggs is going to go to England to hunt Fury down to try and force him to give him a fight. Since Fury is now facing former heavyweight challengers in Pianeta, there’s no excuse for him not to fight the 48-year-old Briggs, who hasn’t fought in two years since May 2016. If Fury isn’t confident enough to fight the likes of Briggs, hen what does that tell you about Fury?

“Tyson had a short rest after Seferi, but is back in full time camp ready for this challenge in Belfast,” Warren said. “I am sure Pianeta will get into the Belfast ring desperate to upset Tyson.”

In the past, Pianeta held the WBO European and EBU EU heavyweight titles. Those are low level titles, and meaningless in the grand scheme of things. Pianeta had his chance in fighting the world class opposition in Wladimir and Chagaev, and he failed miserably. Pianeta’s best wins of his career have come against these fighters:

Oliver McCall

Frans Botha

Robert Hawkins

Matt Skelton

Johann Duhaupas

Scott Gammer

Donnell Wiggins

Colin Wilson

Those are respectable heavyweights that Pianeta beat during his best years, especially the victory over Duhaupas. The fact that Pianeta was able to beat Duhaupas shows that he was a good fighter during his prime of his career. Unfortunately, Pianeta isn’t the same guy now that he was back then. If Pianeta was the same fighter he was 10 years ago, he probably wouldn’t be getting the fight with Fury. Pianeta from 2007 would have a very good chance of beating the blubbery, ring rusty Fury.

In the main event on the August 18 card at Windsor Park, WBO interim featherweight champion Carl Frampton will be defending his title against Luke Jackson.

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