By: William Holmes
Floyd Mayweather Jr. wasn’t the only champion fighting today.
Wladimir Klitschko fought in one of his favorite countries to fight in as he took on Francesco Pianeta in Mannheim, Germany for his IBF, WBO, and WBA Heavyweight titles.
The SAP arena was sold out and Epix had Jameel McCline and Lou DiBella on hand to provide color commentary. Pianeta was shown respect for continuing his boxing career after his bout with testicular cancer, but neither McCline or DiBella felt Pianeta had much of a chance.
A Wladimir Klitschko fight is a very big event in Europe and Michael Buffer was flown in from the United States to do the fighter introductions.
The challenger Francesco Pianeta (28-0-1) was the first fighter to walk into the ring. The champion Wladimir Klitschko (59-3) was introduced second and he received a loud ovation as he walked into the ring with the Red Hot Chili Peppers playing in the background.
After the playing of both the Ukranian and Italian national anthem, Michael Buffer finally made the introductions for the fighters and they met inside the center of the ring.
Francesco Pianeta gave up two inches in height and about three inches in reach to the elder Klitshko. He was also a 15:1 underdog.
Klitschko wasted little time in landing a flush straight hand in the opening round and he forced Pianeta to hold on and deal with swelling near his left eye. Wladimir used his left hand more as a measuring stick instead of using it to throw a jab, but his straight right hand landed at a high rate of efficiency.
Klitschko continued to use his left hand as a measuring stick in the second and third rounds for his powerful straight right hand. Pianeta offered little offense except for an occasional wild left hook to the body of the champion. Klitschko scored his first knockdown in the fourth round when a straight right hand knocked his opponent down. Pianeta was able to get right back to his feet and survive the round.
A left hook knocked Pianeta down again in the fifth round. The left hook didn’t appear to land flush, but the accumulation of punches by Klitschko were beginning to wear down Pianeta. Klitschko came out for the sixth round light on his feet and he was looking for the finish. A right cross straight left hand combination sent Pianeta down again. Pianeta dug deep to get back to his feet at the count of eight but the referee had seen enough and waived off the fight.
Lou DiBella stated that Klitschko was a professor inside the ring with a kid that was not even an honor student. It was accurate assessment of the fight.
Wladimir Klitschko won easily by 6th round TKO at 2:52.