Wladimir Klitschko stopped Francesco Pianeta in the sixth round Saturday night to retain the WBA and IBF heavyweight titles.
The Ukrainian was never troubled by Pianeta, finishing off the previously unbeaten Italian southpaw with a right-left combination. Pianeta stayed down before attempting to continue, but there was no point in delaying the inevitable and referee Ernie Sharif ended the bout 2:52 into the round.
''Francesco tried. He has a fighting heart,'' Klitschko said. ''He's a positive example in boxing. I'm sure he's learned a lot and that he has a great future ahead of him.''
Klitschko rocked Pianeta inside the first 30 seconds, knocked him to the canvas with a straight right down the middle in the fourth, and again with a left blow in the fifth.
The 37-year-old Klitschko improved to 60-3 after his 52nd knockout, while Pianeta dropped to 28-1-1.
''I'm very disappointed and sad,'' said Pianeta, a cancer survivor who lives in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. ''I can't say anythin...