Dan Rafael of ESPN.com reports that “Dr. Steelhammer” Wladimir Klitschko will likely defend The Ring, WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles against the “Italian Ace” Francesco Pianeta on April 6 in Germany.
In a fitting tribute to late International Boxing Hall of Fame trainer Manny Steward, the 6-foot-6, 243 pound Klitschko (59-3, 51 KOs) savagely brutalized mammoth Polish scrapper “The Viking” Mariusz Wach to earn a shutout unanimous decision triumph on November 10 at the O2 World Arena in Hamburg.
Despite being utterly shellacked, the 33-year-old Wach (27-1, 15 KOs), a raging juicehead who stands 6-foot-8 and possesses an 82 inch reach, managed to rock the indomitable Ukrainian with a powerful punch in the fifth and displayed surreal testicular fortitude to remain standing after enduring a horrible beating for 36 minutes.
The 36-year-old Klitschko has now managed to defend his belts on 14 straight occasions and continues threatening Joe Louis’ longstanding record of 25 successful defenses.
Comparatively, the 6-foot-5, 243-pound Pianeta (28-0-1, 15 KOs) last threw fists on November 16 when he embarrassed Argentinean Nelson Dario Dominguez in a first round TKO win.
Regardless of the Italian’s pretty record, impressive size and difficult southpaw stance, the 28-year-old Pianeta has beaten a host of tomatoes cans and will be surgically lambasted by “Dr. Steelhammer” when they meet this spring.
To the chagrin of many prizefighting fans, Wladimir Klitschko, an extremely talented Ukrainian who has emerged victorious in 17 consecutive bouts since being TKO’d by Lamon Brewster in April 2004, will long remain the class of the once glamorous division in boxing.