Preparing to defend The Ring, WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles against the “Italian Ace” Francesco Pianeta on May 4, “Dr. Steelhammer” Wladimir Klitschko denied even considering retirement.
"I feel young enough to not think about it [retirement]. And, of course, I'm looking forward to get a challenge, that's my motivation," said Klitschko, 36, the former banging companion of Hayden Panettiere. "This competition never stops and as long as I'm healthy and motivated I will continue to do the job that I have been doing. I have to assure you that (the) fight against Francesco Pianeta is going to be very, very tough and difficult because he is super motivated."
In a fitting tribute to late International Boxing Hall of Fame trainer Manny Steward, the 6-foot-6, 243-pound Klitschko (59-3, 51 KOs) savagely brutalized mammoth Polish scrapper “The Viking” Mariusz Wach to earn a shutout unanimous decision triumph on November 10 at the O2 World Arena in Hamburg, Germany.
Despite being utterly shellacked, the 33-year-old Wach (27-1, 15 KOs), a raging juicehead who stands 6-foot-8 and possesses an 82-inch reach, managed to rock the indomitable Ukrainian with a powerful punch in the fifth and displayed surreal testicular fortitude to remain standing after enduring a horrible beating for 36 minutes.
“Dr. Steelhammer,” an extremely talented Ukrainian who has emerged victorious in 17 consecutive bouts since suffering a TKO at the hands of Lamon Brewster in April 2004, has now managed to defend his belts on 14 straight occasions and continues threatening Joe Louis’ longstanding record of 25 successful defenses.
Comparatively, the 6-foot-5, 243-pound Pianeta (28-0-1, 15 KOs), who used to spar with Klitschko, last threw fists on Nov. 16 when he embarrassed bush league Argentinean Nelson Dario Dominguez in a first-round TKO demolition.
"Sure it will be the biggest experience (of my life), but not the biggest fight that I have already won, that was against cancer," said Pianeta, 28, an Italian who recovered from the disease after being diagnosed in 2010.
Regardless of the Italian’s pretty record, impressive size and difficult southpaw stance, Pianeta has beaten a host of tomato cans and will be surgically lambasted by “Dr. Steelhammer” when they meet on Cinco de Mayo weekend.
Still, although Wladimir Klitschko will long remain the class of the once-glamorous division in boxing, Francesco Pianeta indeed has “already won.”