IBF/WBA/WBO/IBO World Heavyweight Title
Wladimir Klitschko vs Francesco Pianeta 21:00 SS2
MOSCOW. Wladimir Klitschko stands to earn almost US$17 million if he beats Francesco Pianeta in Mannheim, Germany, on Saturday night.
If the Ukrainian wins against Pianeta, a cancer survivor, he could fight Russian heavyweight Alexander Povetkin in Moscow’s Olympic Hall on August 31.
A Russian promoter has already won the purse bid to stage that bout. Vladimir Hryunov bid $23.33 million. As WBA “super” champion, Klitschko could get 75 per cent of the amount, adding up to $17, 250 000; more than he has ever received for a fight.
Povetkin is the WBA “regular” champion. Klitschko became the “super” champion when he added the WBA title to his three others by beating David Haye in 2011. The two have to fight to leave only one WBA champion.
Pianeta, who was diagnosed with testicular cancer three years ago, has promised to shock Klitschko.
“I will bust my backside to get those belts. Everyone is beatable,” the 28-year-old said this week. He sports a tattoo bearing Julius Caesar’s famous phrase veni, vidi, vici – “I came, I saw, I conquered”.
Klitschko, looking for the 60th victory of his career, has put in 143 rounds of sparring in preparation for the bout.
“I’m as ready as I always am, but I will not underestimate him,” said Klitschko, who used to have Pianeta as a sparring partner. “It is the opportunity of a lifetime for him and he has already won his toughest fight, because he has defeated cancer.”
Klitschko wants a quick knock-out. “I will give everything for a clear win,” he said.
Klitschko and Povetkin, both former Olympic Games champions, were due to clash twice before but Povetkin pulled out in 2008 because of an injury and then backed out a second time in 2010.