Klitschko might hold a variety of world titles, but the opponents he defends them against continues to be anything but championship level. This time, he will face the less than inspiring Francesco Pianeta in Mannheim on May 4.
Francesco Pianeta, who Italian, but based in Germany, has a sparkling record of 29-0-1. However, the level of his competition is low. In the past year he faced veterand Frans Botha and Oliver McCall.
Wladimir Klitschko holds the IBO, IBF, WBO and WBA titles, and has used Pianeta as a sparring partner in the past.
Wladimir’s brother, Vitali, holds the WBC version of the heavyweight title. However, he has yet to officially declare his intentions to return to the ring following his election to the Ukranian parliament. Both brothers have come under fire for the quality of opponents they have defended their belts against.
The mandatory challenger for Wladimir Klitschko was Alexander Povetkin. However, Klitschko was given permission to delay that fight until later in the year. The undefeated Povetkin has been waiting since he had to withdraw due to injury in 2007, to get his chance at the belts.
“I have a lot of respect for Francesco Pianeta. He is young, a southpaw and has an immense fighting spirit," said Klitschko on his official website.
“He will do anything to reach his goal. I am warned and will prepare myself very intensively.”
Francesco Pianeta, for his part, is confident he will become the first person in nearly ten years to defeat Klitschko, when Lamon Brewster did the trick.
“As a sparring partner I was in Wladimir’s camp last year. I saw his weaknesses and will use them," said the 28-year-old.
“I know many experts see me as the underdog but I like this role and will shock the boxing world when I knock out Klitschko.”