Francesco Pianeta: Why Italian is perfect "opponent" for FuryWritten by Leroy Cleveland
On August 18, former heavyweight champion Tyson Fury (26-0, 19 KO) will face Francesco Pianeta (35-4-1, 21 KO).
The fight will be Fury's second following his return to boxing after a 2 1/2-year hiatus.
So, who is Pianeta and does he have a chance to upset the mighty Fury?
Francesco Pianeta is a good "opponent" for Fury at this time. He boasts an impressive record and has faced the likes of Wladimir Klitschko, Kevin Johnson, Matt Skelton, Johann Duhaupas and Ruslan Chagaev. However, he doesn't have the tools to beat Fury who matches up quite well with the Italian.
The Brit has advantages in almost every conceivable area:
- Punching power
- Technique/ Skills/ Footwork
- Fighting at range
- Overall level of opposition
So, while Pianeta has some credibility, he won't be a threat unless Fury is totally off his game.
With 21 KOs in 40 bouts, Pianeta has only a 53 percent Knockouts-to-fights ratio, and the vast majority of those stoppages came against modest opposition. In addition, he won 7 of his first 8 bouts via the KO route so he's registered only 14 KOs in his last 32 fights.
35-4-1, 21 KO
Height: 6'5" / 196cm
BoxRec heavyweight rank: 140 / 1,223
And of considerable interest to Team Fury when it selected Pianeta, the Italian has never KO'd a ranked opponent.
Pianeta is also attractive to Team Fury because he's lost 2 of his last 3 fights to Peter Milas (then 11-0) in June and Kevin Johnson (then 31-8-1) last October. And his only win in his last three bouts came in March against a fella who was 1-0. Yes, 1-0.
How did the boxing commission there sanction a fight between Pianeta, who as 34-3-1 at the time, and an opponent with just one pro fight?
Pianeta's defense and chin are formidable but not elite. He won't be a pushover but isn't a fighter who'll make a superior opponent look bad in victory.
The credibility part, sort of
At 6'5", Pianeta is a big guy who won't be entirely dwarfed by the 6'9" Fury. And, of course, he did challenge Wladimir Klitschko for the title in 2013, losing via TKO in Round 6.
Pianeta has triumphed in 10 round decisions over notable opponents Oliver McCall and Francois Botha, two former champions who were light-years past their respective primes. And in 2009, he manufactured a draw in his bout with the then-capable Albert Sosnowski (then 44-2) and KO'd Matt Skelton (then 22-3) the same year.
... But that was way back in 2009.
Fury vs Pianeta prediction
Look for Tyson to stop the Italian between rounds 4 and 8. Pianeta will give Fury some rounds but won't mount a real threat. This fight should be a decent, although not great, barometer for where Fury is at this point in his comeback.
Chagaev KOs Pianeta in Rd 1