Klitschko vs Pianeta: Latest Lopsided Beatdown Shows Lack of Heavyweight Depth

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistMay 5, 2013

Nov 10, 2012; Hamburg, GERMANY; Wladimir Klitschko during his fight against Mariusz Wach at O2 World Arena.  Mandatory Credit: Tim Groothuis/Witters Sport via USA TODAY Sports
Witters Sport-USA TODAY Sports

As just about anyone following the sport of boxing predicted, Wladimir Klitschko easily defended his WBA, IBF, WBO, IBO and The Ring heavyweight titles once again in dominant fashion.

Francesco Pianeta came into the bout undefeated, but Klitschko quickly proved that his unblemished record meant nothing.

Utilizing his distinct size and reach advantages, Klitschko got right to bludgeoning Pianeta. The challenger had his moments—a looping left hand caught Klitschko flush on the left cheek in Round 3—but it still ended with the familiar site of Klitschko having his hand raised.

The win was Klitschko's 21st in title fights, a mark that ties him with Larry Holmes for the third-most wins in heavyweight title fights.

However, Klitschko's win highlights an ongoing problem with boxing—a serious lack of skilled fighters in the heavyweight division.

In Germany, this was a huge fight. But in the light of Saturday's mega-fight between Floyd Mayweather and Robert Guerrero, this was just a blip on boxing's radar.

While detractors may point to Klitschko's plodding style and size advantage as the reason for his lack of drawing power, his domination is something that should generate more interest.

Mayweather's defensive style isn't the most entertaining to watch in the sport, yet his dominance still leads to big pay-per-view numbers and interest.

However, it's the collision of two big names that generates interest, and that's the real reason that the heavyweight division has become stale.

For a fighter like Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao, there are plenty of intriguing options that will generate interest. From experienced veterans like Miguel Cotto to up-and-comers like Canelo Alvarez, they are free to move up and down in weight to take on opponents that fans are interested in seeing.

For Klitschko, the list of intriguing opponents is much shorter. Outside of an extremely unlikely matchup with his brother Vitali, there are few that have the name recognition or boxing chops to create any interest in the division.

Without a higher level of competition to truly challenge him, Klitschko will continue to dominate the competition and be one of the most underrated champions of all time.