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Klitschko vs Pianeta: Time, Preview & 5 Reasons Fans Should Brace for a Colossal Upset

Lee Cleveland Updated
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Ring Magazine/Lineal Heavyweight Champion Wladimir Klitschko (59-3, 50 KO) will face the unheralded Francesco Pianeta, (28-0, 15 KO), a former sparring partner, later today. Klitschko vs Pianeta Time:
4:30 PM EST
21:30 UK
22:30 Deutschland

Klitschko vs Pianeta Broadcast:
Deutschland - RTL

Odds for Klitschko vs Pianeta are 'through the roof.'

The most popular betting sites have Wladimir Klitschko a 16 to 1 favorite while his opponent, Francesco Pianeta, is roughly a 20 to 1 underdog.

Virtually no one is giving Pianeta much of a chance... Frankly, not many outside of Europe even know who he is. And Francesco Pianeta is, on paper, the ideal opponent for the 37 superstar champion to take lightly.

Who cares Wlad is 37 and Pianeta 28? The champion has advantages in every conceivable area.

Klitschko enjoys supremacy over Pianeta in:
  • Size & Reach
  • Speed
  • Experience
  • Punching power
  • Technique/ Skills/ Footwork
  • Level of Opposition
  • Amateur and professional pedigree

However, is Wlad ripe for the taking?

Klitschko vs Pianeta Fight Poster

klitschko pianeta poster

1. Motivation Issues?
First things first... Wladimir Klitschko has been a consummate professional his entire career so there's no reason to believe he is taking Pianeta likely. However, how does one get motivated for such an opponent?

Klitschko's late trainer, Emanuel Steward once confided, "I hate to say it but Wladimir has cleaned out the division. He always stays in shape but it is getting hard to motivate him. I tell him that he can break Joe Louis's record of 25 title defenses. And I think he can."

2. Klitschko's Chin
The one intangible not listed above is toughness/ ability to absorb punishment. We know Wlad is susceptible to being rocked if caught clean by a hard punch at the right time but we don't know about Pianeta's ability to absorb punishment.

Unlike his brother, Wladimir has been plagued by a less-than-sturdy chin. He's been knocked out three times and stunned on several occasions, including his first bout with Sam Peter - a fight Wlad won on points despite being floored three times. And in his most recent bout against Mariusz Wach, Wlad was seemingly more than a bit stunned at the end of Round 5.

Does Wlad have a weak chin? The answer is "No." He does have recouperative powers and can overcome adversity. However, he doesn't have a 'chin of steel' either and that's certainly something an opponent would be looking to exploit.

Will Wlad be conditioned well-enough, physically and mentally, to avoid being caught flush?

3. Pianeta is a Southpaw
Although Klitschko has prepared himself to fight a southpaw, fighting lefties can be a tricky endeavor as the overwhelming majority of fighters box out of a convential (or righty stance).

Southpaws do everything backwards as their stance is opposite that of a right-hander's, with the right foot and right arm forward. If you're fighting a southpaw, regardless of whether you're a lefty or righty yourself, you must be well prepared for the schemes and scenarios your opponent will throw at you.

Will Wlad be prepared enough to deal with Pianeta's bag of tricks?

4. Cupid, Cupid
Soon after Klitschko vs Pianeta was announced, several sources reported Heavyweight Champion Wladimir Klitschko and celebrity actress Hayden Panettiere, 23, were secretly engaged. Moreover, they've been spotted several times this year showcasing public displays of affection in the form of kissing and giggling.

If the engagement rumours are true and Klitschko is getting married later this summer, one must wonder how focused Wladimir is for this bout.

Is a presumably love-struck Wlad vulnerable?


One fan said last month, "Where and when is Klitschko going to train? The fight is less than a month away and he is still screwing around with Panettiere on the beach."

The love bug has already apparently bitten Wlad - Will Pianeta be next to sting the champ.

5. History Often Repeats Itself
Like Klitschko vs Pianeta, Lennox Lewis vs Hasim Rahman I was supposed to be a "showcase" affair as few gave the challenger a chance. But as a 15-1 favorite, an ill-prepared Lennox Lewis was upset when a smashing right cross from the challenger landed flush on his  jaw, leaving him outstretched on the canvas. The Englishman looked tired and weary, and was certainly in no condition to continue.


Lewis was believed to have under-trained for his first bout with Hasim, thanks to his involvement in the hit movie Ocean's Eleven.

Will Cupid's bow and arrow be Klitschko's 'Ocean Eleven?' Will it give Francesco Pianeta a solid chance of upsetting an unmotivated champion who may be a bit too pre-occupied with his cutie pie and possible nuptial arrangements and a honeymoon?

Klitschko vs Pianeta... Later today!
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