60 and 14: Klitschko Continues To Extend His Reign

By Cliff Rold

37-year old World Heavyweight Champion Wladimir Klitschko (60-3, 52 KO) of Kiev, Ukraine, picked up his 60th win while making his 14th consecutive defense of the IBF Heavyweight belt and seventh consecutive defense of the lineal Heavyweight crown on Saturday night at the SAP-Arena in Manheim, Germany, dropping 28-year old Italian challenger Francisco Pianeta (28-1-1, 15 KO) of Gelsenkirchen, Germany, three times en route to a stoppage in round six.  Klitschko also retains the WBO and WBA “Super” Heavyweight belts.

Klitschko came into the bout at a chiseled 249 lbs, Pianeta at 240 ¼.  The referee was Ernie Sharif.

The champion wasted little time buzzing Pianeta with a stiff right hand just thirty seconds in.  Klitschko would land another similar bomb about a minute later, Pianeta looping in some southpaw right hooks in between.  Pianeta started firing straight shots to the body, keeping his hands high.  Klitschko, allowed to measure with the left, kept looking for the right and also mixed in a hard left hook late in the round.

Pianeta landed a decent combination to start the second but it was Klitschko controlling most of the round.  Pianeta was blasted with a right late and bravely waved Klitschko forward, his courage commendable. 

A left cross landed with Klitschko’s back to the ropes, forcing the champion to hold halfway through the third and raising a cheer from the crowd.  Klitschko, continuing to measure with his left, wasn’t hurt and soundly outboxed Pianeta for most of the rest of the frame.

The dominance continued in the fourth, Pianeta sneaking in some haymakers but unable to solve the long stick of Klitschko.  In the final minute of the round, Pianeta relaxed his defense and Klitschko fired a right through the gap, putting the challenger on the seat of his trunks.  Pianeta rose quickly and finished the round.

He finished the fifth as well despite another trip to the floor.  It was a gutsy outing but the class difference was dramatic and Klitschko’s calm imposing.  In the middle of round six, Klitschko buckled Pianeta’s knees with a left and Pianeta again brazenly waved the champion forward. 

Klitschko obliged before the round was complete and Pianeta wouldn’t see the corner again. 

With the seconds ticking down late in the round, Klitschko unleashed a right hand and left hook to send Pianeta to the floor in a heap.  Pianeta again beat the count but Sharif wisely saved him further punishment at 2:52 of round six. 

Pianeta argued against the stoppage and bawled in the corner after the fight, a sign of how hard he’d tried.  He’d given everything he could to win and merited respect for that.  He was in the ring with the best in the world and the gap between Klitschko and everyone else remains too wide to cross.

“It’s not as easy as people think to fight against an undefeated fighter,” Klitschko stated in post-fight comments, acknowledging the effort Pianeta put forth.  “He tried like no one else, even if he didn’t have experience,” Klitschko continued before adding a classy note of respect for Pianeta surviving a battle with cancer.

Asked how he’d respond to those who are skeptical about the level of challengers he’s facing, Klitschko said, “It doesn’t matter who I fight.  I get criticized anyway.”  With undefeated mandatory Alexander Povetkin (25-0, 17 KO) likely later in the year and young guns Kubrat Pulev (17-0, 9 KO) and Tyson Fury (21-0, 15 KO) growing into their possible roles as challengers, the challenges will be getting tougher sooner than later.

Klitschko needs 12 more wins in a row to surpass Joe Louis’s mark of 25 consecutive defenses of a Heavyweight title; 19 wins in a row to pass Louis’s mark in terms of the lineal crown.  Despite his age, Klitschko remains good enough to make both numbers seem within reach.  Will any of the rising challengers stop his push towards history? 

They’ll have their work cut out for them. 

The card was televised in the U.S. on Epix, promoted by K2 Promotions.

Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene and a member of the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board, the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at [email protected]

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by crold1 on 05-07-2013

[QUOTE=BostonGuy;13340671]Wlad could easily 'exciten up' his game if he threw uppercuts to the body and to the head - presently he seldom does either. I've heard the argument "Wlad's a tall guy, if he throws body shots he leaves himself…

Comment by BostonGuy on 05-07-2013

[QUOTE=Cupocity303;13330834][SIZE="3"] Some say he should throw body punches. Why? Why fix something that isn't broken. Smaller fighters need to throw body punches to break their bigger target down, not him.[/SIZE][/QUOTE] Wlad could easily 'exciten up' his game if he threw…

Comment by Frank Ducketts on 05-07-2013

That is a shame. The heavyweight champion of the world fought, and nobody watched or cared. Maybe they did care somewhere, but not here in America.

Comment by crold1 on 05-07-2013

[QUOTE=hweightblogger;13340570]Yes, exactly. That a guy like Spinks was the champ and Tyson had to fight him shows you in what bad state the division was. That a guy Mormeck was merely a stay busy fight, shows you in what good…

Comment by hweightblogger on 05-07-2013

[QUOTE=crold1;13336015]On Spinks: Spinks was still the undefeated lineal Heavyweight champion. He was exactly who Tyson should have fought then.[/QUOTE] Yes, exactly. That a guy like Spinks was the champ and Tyson had to fight him shows you in what bad…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (55)
Top Headlines Linares: On May 12 - Lomachenko Will Bow Down To King Jorge! Golovkin Wants Answers: What Did Canelo Inject in His Belly? Tyrone McKenna vs. Anthony Upton on Frampton-Donaire Card Photos: Anthony Joshua in Top Form, Grinds For Parker Clash Lomachenko vs. Jorge Linares - Ticket Information Whyte: Browne 'Just a Clubber;' He Hasn't Fought Anyone Like Me Ryan Garcia: I Want Gervonta Davis, I Want To Fight Him! Hearn Sides With Joshua's Position: No Face To Face With Wilder Browne: 'Idiot' Whyte Famous Only for Getting KO'd by Joshua Naoya Inoue's Power Has Improved at 118, Says Sparring Partner Hearn: Anthony Joshua is Very Interested in Rematch With Whyte Frank Bruno Issues Joseph Parker Warning To Anthony Joshua Golden Boy Prez on Golovkin: Sounds Like Fear, Making Excuses Liam Smith: There is No Way Ali Beats Even a 75% Version of Cotto Willy Vlautin and His Love For The Sport of Boxing WBC Prez is Waiting For Mikey Garcia To Make His Decision Golden Boy Prez Reacts: It Sounds Like Golovkin Wants Out! Golovkin: Those Responsible For Draw Are Terrorists, Need Jail! Golovkin: Canelo is Cheating, Using Drugs - De La Hoya is Dirty Yuriorkis Gamboa, Golden Boy Promotions Part Ways Jorge Arce Comes Out Firing in Defense of Canelo, Luis Nery Hearn Reacts To Wilder Calling Him 'White Man Milking a Brother' Ryota Murata vs. Emanuele Blandamura Will Be Carried By ESPN Julian Williams vs. Nathaniel Gallimore Finalized For SHO Triple ESPN Names Mayweather 8th Most Dominant Athlete of Past 20 Years Kautondokwa: After Godoy, I am ready for Billy Joe Saunders! Jose Ramirez's First Defense Targeted For Ballpark in Fresno Tyson Fury's New Goal - Break Joe Louis' 25 Defense Record News: Payano vs. Plania, Braulio Rodriguez, Vicente Eyes Dogboe Photos: Dillian Whyte, Lucas Browne, Frank Buglioni - Workouts Ramirez-Imam Tripleheader Averaged Only 488K Viewers for ESPN Anthony Joshua Won’t Discuss What He'll Weigh for Parker Fight News: Klara Svennson Update, Rocco Wadell Back on April 21 Billy Joe Saunders vs. Martin Murray Moves To June 23rd Parker on Joshua: Somebody is Getting KO'd - It Won't Be Me! Prograis Sees 'Lots of Holes' in Jose Ramirez, Respects His Chin Mikey Garcia Explains Why He'd Want Spence Bout Over Crawford Jose Ramirez vs. Amir Imam: Afterthoughts Liam Smith: I Think Ali Might Be Tougher Fight Than Miguel Cotto Hughie Fury: I'll Be World Champion, I'm a World Level Fighter!

Latest Active Forum Threads