Saturday night at GETEC Arena in Magdeburg, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany, in a battle of southpaws, WBA World heavyweight champion Ruslan Chagaev (34-2-1, 21 KOs), from Hamburg, Germany, by way of Andijan, Uzbekistan, successfully defended his title by stopping Francesco Pianeta (31-2-1, 17 KOs), from Gelsenkirchen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany, by way of Corigliano Calabro, Calabria, Italy, at 2:57 of round one.
Fighting out of the red corner, Chagaev was all business. Giving up six inches in height was of no concern. Sticking out his right jab and moving around the ring, the challenger kept his distance from the champion, who was looking for an opening to get inside.
The two men traded jabs. Pianeta landed a straight left. The Uzbek countered with a big overhand left, followed by another left as he was going down, and Pianeta dropped to the mat at 1:35. He was hurt. On his hands and knees with his head resting on the canvas, it looked like the fight was over just as it had begun. But Pianeta, whose heart is beyond reproach, was up at the count of six and fighting back.
All fighters are fearless, but some fighters are more fearless than others. Pianeta ate a few punches and came firing back. He landed a nice combination, an uppercut, and another left. Chagaev responded by bringing out the big guns. He drove Pianeta into the corner where another big left exploded on the challenger’s chin and he went down a second time. Pianeta beat the count, again, and using the ropes pulled himself to his feet, but he was in no shape to continue.
It was a resounding win for the champion, a heartbreaking loss for the challenger
“My heart is broken,” said Pianeta after the fight. “I wasn’t careful. Congratulations to Chagaev.”
Ruslan Chagaev vs. Francesco Pianeta can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gh02FlIAPEY
This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.