Flooring the ballsy Italian challenger in the fourth and fifth, Wladimir Klitschko finished Francesco Pianeta with a sixth round TKO to successfully defend The Ring, WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight belts Saturday afternoon at the SAP Arena in Mannheim, Germany.
The 37-year-old Klitschko (60-3, 52 KOs) bruised and battered the 6-foot-5 Pianeta (28-1-1, 15 KOs) throughout the mismatch before the referee mercifully halted the bout at 2:52 of the decisive frame.
Even more impressively, “Dr. Steelhammer” has now managed to safeguard his titles on 14 straight occasions and continues threatening Joe Louis’ longstanding record of 25 defenses.
Despite being outclassed and overwhelmed, the 28-year-old Pianeta was courageous for nearly 18 minutes.
Regardless, as the fourth longest reigning king in heavyweight history, the extremely skilled and talented Klitschko is a prizefighter for the ages.
A gold medalist at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Klitschko is tentatively slated to battle unbeaten Russian Alexander Povetkin on August 31.
No matter what the 33-year-old Povetkin (25-0, 17 KOs) does against “Dr. Steelhammer,” the indomitable Wladimir Klitschko will again vacate the squared circle victorious this summer.