Chagaev-Pianeta Preview

By Clarence George on July 4, 2015
Chagaev-Pianeta Preview
Ruslan Chagaev says that Francesco Pianeta "won't know what hit him." Oh, I think he will.

As the great Willie Pep once said, “They ought to take all left-handers, drop them in a sack, and throw the sack in a river…”

On Saturday, July 11, at GETEC Arena in Magdeburg, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany, WBA World heavyweight champ Ruslan Chagaev will defend his title against Francesco Pianeta over a scheduled 12 rounds.

Originally from Andijan, Uzbekistan, 36-year-old Chagaev (33-2-1, 20 KOs) now fights out of Hamburg, Germany. “White Tyson” turned pro in 1997, though he returned to the amateur ranks from 1998 to 2000. Chagaev won the WBA World heavyweight title by decisioning Nikolay Valuev in April 2007. Illness and injury suffered by Chagaev postponed and ultimately prevented a rematch, and the champ relinquished his title. He fought Alexander Povetkin for the vacant championship in August 2011, losing by unanimous decision, but was successful when the title once again became vacant, decisioning Fres Oquendo in July 2014. Chagaev’s bout with Oquendo is his most recent, the upcoming fight his first title defense. Although contractually entitled to a rematch, Oquendo, who’s fourth-ranked by the WBA, is allowing Chagaev-Pianeta to proceed, with the proviso that he face the winner within four months.

The Uzbekistani-German’s other loss came at the hands of Wladimir Klitschko, the WBA Super World heavyweight champ, who retired Chagaev in the ninth in June 2009. Chagaev drew against Rob Calloway in October 2002, Calloway suffering a cut due to a headbutt. Chagaev stopped Calloway by second-round KO in their January 2006 rematch.

Like his upcoming opponent, 30-year-old Pianeta (31-1-1, 17 KOs) is a southpaw. A pro since 2005, Pianeta is originally from Corigliano Calabro, Calabria, Italy, but now lives in Gelsenkirchen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. He most recently fought in December 2014, decisioning Ivica Bacurin. The Italian-German’s sole loss came by way of Wladimir Klitschko, who won by sixth-round TKO in May 2013. Pianeta’s April 2009 bout with Albert Sosnowski resulted in a split draw. There was no rematch. Pianeta is 12th-ranked by the WBA.

When southpaws collide, is it? As the great Willie Pep once said, “They ought to take all left-handers, drop them in a sack, and throw the sack in a river.” Into the drink go Chagaev and Pianeta (and the rest of the heavyweight division with them). No? Well, then all that remains is my prediction. Chagaev says that Pianeta “won’t know what hit him.” Oh, I think he will. It will be Chagaev, and somewhere around the middle rounds.

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  1. John Cervero 05:41am, 07/06/2015

    I know I’m not the smartest guy, but I sure am an avid Boxing fan for many years, and I think your site is one of the very best. But even after all the time that has gone by since the fight, I do not under stand what really happened at the so called ” Fight of the Century”? I always thought that Freddy Roach was on top of every aspect of his fighters upcoming bouts, is all this confusion his fault? Please tell me what you think REALLY happened. Even though Pacqueo is a little older now, he has fought much better than that night! To just say that Mayweather was that much better is not the answer according to the experts I try to talk with. They say Pac was definitely not doing what he is so capable of doing? I wonder what I’m missing?  Thank You, John Cervero

  2. Clarence George 07:03pm, 07/05/2015

    Assuming he has one.

  3. peter 04:13pm, 07/05/2015

    This is an interesting match up. Chagaev is getting long in the tooth, but he’s a warrior and should have enough piss ‘n vinegar in him to win. Pianeta needs to bring his “A” game.

  4. Clarence George 12:27pm, 07/05/2015

    That Chagaev isn’t one of these pituitary cases is definitely a point in his favor, Irish.

  5. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 10:38am, 07/05/2015

    I’ve seen Ruslan listed at 6’1” but I’m betting it’s 5’11” as shown here….I say that his model of heavyweight has seen it’s day unless, that is, he hits like Tyson and even then there were times when Mike wasn’t as effective punching up at taller opponents.

  6. Clarence George 09:30am, 07/05/2015

    I’ll bite, KB.

  7. KB 08:37am, 07/05/2015

    We all should hold Chagaev in gratitude. He did something for American boxing fans that was simply marvelous. Any one like to comment?

  8. KB 04:25am, 07/05/2015

    A close friend of mine from Chicago will be one of the officials in this one. It should be a dandy.

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