Wladimir Klitschko vs Francesco Pianeta: Will Cupid Bring About the Champ's Demise?Written by Leroy Cleveland
Soon after Klitschko vs Pianeta was announced, several sources reported Heavyweight Champion Wladimir Klitschko and celebrity actress Hayden Panettiere, 23, were secretly engaged.
The engagement is not official but they were spotted in January and March showcasing many public displays of affection in the form of kissing and giggling so its safe to surmise they are once again an item.
And when asked about her rekindled romance last week, the "Nashville" star gave Glamour interviewer Lauren Brown a huge smile and said: "I think it's pretty obvious. I'm not going to deny it."
Moreover, the actress was spotted on the beach in Miami last weekend wearing a large ring on her finger, according to the New York Daily News.
And someone close to Panettiere uploaded an Instagram photo of the beauty queen wearing a sweet sparkler on her right hand while wrapping her legs around Klitschko, Gossip Cop reported.
Klitschko will defend his heavyweight titles against Pianeta on May 4th yet Us Weekly's source insists the 6'6" Klitschko will marry the 5'2" Panettiere this summer.
Wladimir Klitschko and Hayden Panettiere: Love is in the air?
If the engagement rumours are true, one must wonder how focused Wladimir is for this bout. Is a presumably love-struck Wlad vulnerable?
Perhaps his alleged engagement to Panettiere is why Wladimir is exercising his voluntary defense option instead of facing a top 10 opponent?
Pianeta: The Perfect Opponent to Overlook
Is Wlad ripe to be upset?
Francesco Pianeta is, on paper, the ideal opponent for the 37 superstar champion to take lightly. Who cares that Wlad is 37 and Pianeta 28? The champion has advantages in every conceivable area.
Klitchko enjoys supremacy over Pianeta in:
- Size & Reach
- Punching power
- Technique/ Skills/ Footwork
- Level of Opposition
- Amateur and professional pedigree
Moreover, the Klitschko vs Pianeta will take place in the SAP-Arena in Mannheim, Germany so the house will be rockin' for their man, Wladimir Klitschko come May 4th.
The one intangible 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.
Will Wlad be conditioned well-enough, physically and mentally, to avoid being caught flush?
Wladimir Klitschko has been a consummate professional his entire career so there's no reason to believe he is taking Pianeta likely.
However, like Lennox Lewis heading into his title April 2001 title defense against Hasim Rahman, the seemingly love-struck Wlad might be more vulnerable than he's been in quite some time.
Lewis vs Rahman I
A 15-1 favorite and superior to Rahman in nearly every way, Lewis was believed to have under-trained for his first bout with Hasim, thanks to his involvement in the hit movie Ocean's Eleven.
RING Magazine's Upset of the Year for 2001, Lewis vs Rahman I ended when a smashing right cross from the challenger landed flush on the jaw of Lewis, leaving him outstretched on the canvas. The Englishman looked tired and weary, and was certainly in no condition to continue.
The result ranks as the biggest upset in the heavyweight division since Buster Douglas knocked out Mike Tyson in 1990.
But with his focus renewed and motivation restored, Lewis easily handled Rahman in their rematch seven months later. After cruising to a three round lead, Lewis landed a thundering right hook that sent Rahman crashing to the floor in the fourth round. Fight over.
Will Cupid's bow and arrow be Klitschko's 'Ocean Eleven?' Will it give Francesco Pianeta a solid chance of upsetting a champion who may be pre-occupied with his cutie pie and possible nuptial arrangements and a honeymoon?
After Klitschko vs Pianeta was made, fight aficionado Bernie Campbell told FightSaga "Pianeta is a tough hombre! Vlad is making a big mistake!"
The love bug has already apparently bitten Wlad - Will Pianeta be next to sting the champ?