Wladimir Klitschko to secure KO 51 against unbeaten Pianeta
When the curtain finally comes down on Wladimir Klitschko’s career, the Ukrainian heavyweight champion – who has dominated the division for almost a decade – will attract criticism for a lack of quality opponents on his resume.
His rival on May 4th – Francesco Pianeta – will do little to quell this argument, but Klitschko can only beat what is put in front of him and Pianeta’s record and residency make him an ideal opponent for Dr Steelhammer.
The Italian Ace has lived in Germany, where the Klitschko brothers are adored, since the age of six and therefore this fight has the air of a domestic rumble with a young, undefeated challenger aiming to topple the long-established champion.
With Klitschko now offering little appeal to the lucrative American market, it is clear to see why the WBA, IBF, WBO, IBO and The Ring heavyweight champion has opted to fight Pianeta.
Pianeta is yet to taste defeat in his professional career – a 2009 draw against Albert Sosnowski is the only blemish on his record – and at 6ft 5” is at least big enough to mix it with the champion – in theory.
The former Muay Thai fighter, who boasts 15 KOs so far, also lays claim to wins over former world champions Frans Botha and Oliver McCall.
However, his credibility is somewhat diminished by the fact that both of these wins came via unanimous decision at a time when both fighters were well beyond their prime.
Klitschko on the other hand, has not been beaten since 2004 and has stopped 50 of his 59 victims thus far. And, even despite a nine-year age gap, he is expected to be too fast and too strong for Pianeta.
The southpaw underdog has shown a penchant for circling to the right in the past and such tactics will play into the hands of Klitschko, explaining why the champion is priced as the 1/50 favourite.
Pianeta can be backed at 16/1, while the draw offers odds of 33/1 but the 28-year-old would need to raise his game on pretty much every front to yield either result in Baden-Wurttemburg.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.