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Klitschko vs Pianeta: Picks and predictions from the BLH staff

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Will Wladimir Klitschko dominate again, or will Italian underdog Francesco Pianeta be able to stop the reign?

Nadine Rupp

Scott Christ

Klitschko losing would be the Upset of the Year, unless he lost, and then Robert Guerrero also beat Floyd Mayweather later in on the same date, which I suppose could happen, because this is a world where a champion boxer once had a unicorn's head tattooed on his penis. Good fighters do lose fights like this sometimes -- either they're old, they get caught, they didn't take something seriously, or it was just time, with fate and destiny and all this. Wladimir is old in years at 37, but has taken so little punishment in recent memory that it's a young 37. He's better than Pianeta, and he never takes any fight less than seriously. Wladimir prepares for everyone like they're the biggest challenge of his career. Usually, they are not, and at this point, the fights just sort of blend into one big, long wipeout. Expect more of the same. Klitschko TKO-5.

Kory Kitchen

Has there ever been a legitimate heavyweight title fight with this little fanfare (at least in the US)? It's not entirely the Klitschko brother's fault, but they are not exactly enticing people to watch them defend the heavyweight championship of the world at the moment. Pianeta is at least close to the physical size of Klitschko and perhaps his southpaw stance can trouble his more talented foe. But I just can't see him beating Wladimir unless he lands a lucky punch or Wlad really, really ages overnight (he is 37 after all). It should be another night of Klitschko dominating with the jab and long right hand over the distance. Klitschko by 10th round TKO.

Dave Oakes

Pianeta has a nice back story, overcoming cancer four years ago and being able to resume his boxing career afterwards. I'd love to say that I think he's got a chance against Klitschko, unfortunately, he hasn't. The big Italian has a shorter reach, isn't a puncher and is also quite slow. Wlad will be Wlad - jab, jab, jab, jab, wait, wait, jab, jab, whopping right hand. That shouldn't be viewed as a criticism, he's learnt from the mistakes he made earlier in his career and fights to his strengths.

To beat Klitschko you either need to be quick enough and brave enough to get on the inside before letting go of heavy punches, or, try to out jab him from range and line him up for a big shot - which is a massive ask considering that's Klitschko's forte. Pianeta doesn't posses the skills to do either of those things, although I think he'll try the latter, which could make for a dull fight until Klitschko lands the fight finishing right hand. Klitschko KO7.

Final Tally: Wladimir Klitschko 3, Francesco Pianeta 0.