It’s official. WBA/IBF/WBO/IBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (59-3, 50 KOs) will defend against unbeaten Francesco Pianeta (28-0-1, 15 KOs) at the SAP Arena in Mannheim, Germany on May 4. Pianeta is rated WBA #12 and WBO #9. His most difficult fight was outside the ring when cancer was diagnosed in 2009 he was forced to stop his sports. After overcoming the illness he returned to the ring in 2010. He has wins over Oliver McCall and Frans Botha on his ledger.
Francesco Pianeta: “I was in Wladimir’s camp as a sparring partner last year. I saw his weaknesses and will use them for me. 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!”
Wladimir Klitschko: “I have a lot of respect for Francesco Pianeta. He is young, a southpaw and has an immense fighting spirit. He will do anything to reach his goal. I am warned and will prepare myself very intensively. Mannheim is a special place: I started my second career there with my victory against Chris Byrd in 2006. It is my fourth fight in the arena and the atmosphere has always been great.”
Bernd Bönte, Managing Director Klitschko Management Group (KMG): “The SAP arena is one of the nicest arenas in Germany and with MD Daniel Hopp and his entire team we have a very experienced and professional partner on our side with whom we have had several successful co-operations in the last years already.”
In Germany, Klitschko vs. Pianeta will be broadcasted on RTL, EPIX will show the fight in the U.S.