It didn't take long for Wladimir Klitschko (60-3, 51 KO) to demonstrate his dominance. The WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight champion stopped Francesco Pianeta in the sixth round of a lopsided bout in the SAP Arena in Mannheim, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany on Saturday.
From the first round, Klitschko's jab and reach was the dominant factor. The win was his 18th straight. It was also his 14th consecutive successful defense of the heavyweight crown.
The gap between he and any other heavyweight—not named Klitschko—is wider than the Grand Canyon.
The young, courageous Pianeta gave a great effort, but he was simply out-classed. The Italian went down in the fourth round from a titanic straight right hand. He also hit the canvas again in the fifth round from a counter left hand.
ESPN Boxing @ESPNBoxing
ROUND 6: Klitschko hammers Pianeta off the start with right hands. Amazing the challenger is still standing. Rare body shot from Wlad hits.5/4/2013, 9:35:26 PM
When he went down in the sixth round, referee Ernie Sharif mercifully stopped the fight after Pianeta stumbled to his feet.
Klitschko got away with using an illegal tactic for the entire fight. He kept extending his left hand and arm to measure Pianeta, which shouldn't have been allowed.
Fighters are not supposed to be able to use their lead hand in that fashion. Even if Sharif had penalized Klitschko, it wouldn't have mattered.
It appeared the champion was just toying with Pianeta for the entire fight. He probably could have disposed of him before the sixth round, but perhaps he just wanted to give the crowd at the SAP Arena a show.
The most promising moment of the entire EPIX broadcast came during the pre-fight footage. In an interview with Jameel McCline, Klitschko named American Deontay Wilder as a possible future opponent.
Klitschko would still be the favorite in that fight, but at least it has potential for a bit more excitement.
This was just an exhibition of a champion and a fighter who had no business in the ring with him.
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