Four-belt heavyweight title holder Wladimir Klitschko makes an incredible fourteenth world title defence in a row tonight as the giant Ukrainian faces Francesco Pianeta at the SAP-Arena in Mannheim, Germany.
Build-up to the 37 year-old’s ‘Showtime in Mannheim’ event has been rather muted as the focus of the world is fixed on Floyd Mayweather’s attempt to push his record to 44-0 against Robert Guerrero on the other ‘Showtime’ in the boxing capital of Las Vegas.
Klitschko puts his collection of belts on the line against the little-known German-based Italian Pianeta with the odds on another victory too short to make any significant return from as the formidable champion aims for a 51st career knockout.
Pianeta, 28, has won 28 of 29 contests in his career so far, with just one draw against Albert Sosnowski the blot on his copybook, although the southpaw remains decidedly untested and boast victories over a string of past-their-best veterans.
So what are the chances of an upset? Slim-to-none as far as most are concerned, with all barring those at the Klitschko-loving arena tonight praying that Pianeta can become the first since David Haye to give ‘Dr. Steelhammer’ a decent fight.
In chief support, Prizefighter champion Mike Perez makes a welcome return to the heavyweight division for the first time in 17 months as he faces American Travis Walker.
The talented 27 year-old Cuban has built up an impressive 18-0 record with 12 stoppages since turning pro and can make further advances towards the top end of the world rankings with a much-expected victory tonight.