Francesco Pianeta, who has challenged twice for the world heavyweight title, will be former world title-holder Tyson Fury’s next opponent in Belfast on August 18 promoter Frank Warren announced Thursday.
The 33-year-old Italian, who has won 21 of his 40 fights by knockout, will, according to Warren, provide much stiffer opposition than Sefer Seferi, who lasted just four rounds in what was Fury’s comeback fight in June after over two-and-a-half-years out of the ring.
Pianeta’s two world title challenges ended in knockouts, lasting six rounds with Ukrainian great Wladimir Klitschko but then got a right pummelling from Uzbekistan’s Ruslan Chagaev and was counted out in the first round.
“The Seferi fight is history and Pianeta is a far better operator than him,” said Warren.
“His level of opposition tells you that.”
Warren added Pianeta was an ideal opponent for 29-year-old Fury — who was crowned world champion when he beat Klitschko on points to take the World Boxing Association (WBA), International Boxing Federation (IBF) and World Boxing Organisation (WBO) belts in November 2015.
“Tyson had been out of boxing for a long time and Pianeta is a good opponent for what is Tyson’s second fight back after his break,” said Warren.
“He needs rounds under his belt before moving on to the next level and this fight will do that and make him work for his win.”