By Alexander Pavlov

IBF/WBA/IBO/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (59-3, 50KOs) put in more work for challenger Francesco Pianeta (28-0-1, 15KOs) than he did for the 2011 clash with former two division beltholder David Haye. Wladimir defends the title against Pianeta on Saturday at the SAP-Arena in Mannheim.

According to manager Bern Boente, Wladimir put in more work, and more sparring rounds, than he did for the Haye encounter.

"Everyone knows that we were opposed to bidding on the fight between Klitschko and Povetkin before Wladimir completed his defense with Pianeta. However, nothing we did could avoid this. For many years I worked as a journalist, and I remember how so many fights were discussed but in the end they never happened. Therefore, I note that Pianeta is being taken very seriously. We saw him in action during the sparring sessions with Wladimir before the fight with Tony Thompson, so we know how strong he is," Boente said.

"To get ready for this fight, Wladimir spent the greatest amount of time in sparring than ever before, and that includes the preparation for the meeting with David Haye. On Saturday we will see that Klitschko is 100% ready."

Alexander Pavlov covers boxing for