Wladimir Klitschko won again. Ho-hum.
With a sixth-round TKO of Francesco Pianeta on Saturday night, Dr. Steelhammer not only won his 18th straight fight since falling to Lamon Brewster nearly 10 years ago, but he once again showcased a weak heavyweight division.
That's not meant to be a slight against Klitschko. He continually puts together dominant, workmanlike performances and undoubtedly deserves his multiple titles.
But after the champion, the prestige of the division is unarguably lacking. The gap between Klitschko and the rest of the heavyweight division—not counting his brother Vitali—is downright laughable.
I mean, just look at Klitschko shortly after his win over Pianeta (via WNBC-TV's Bruce Beck):
Bruce Beck @BruceBeck4NY
With World Heavyweight Champion Wladimir @Klitschko after Pianeta win in Mannheim, Germany! @EpixSports http://t.co/bJ9X8pW65k2013-5-5 01:07:04
The 37-year-old looks like he just got done with a nice, relaxing spa day—not like he just defended the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO heavyweight titles.
Pianeta gave it a solid effort, but he never truly troubled the Ukrainian "Super" champion. In the sixth round, Klitschko put The Italian Ace out of his misery by sending him to the canvas with a devastating right-left combination, forcing the referee to put an end to the fight.
La Afición @laaficion
#Entérate Klitschko noquea a Pianeta para defender títulos avalados por la AMB y la FIB http://t.co/hemvGPB9nv http://t.co/8W8HFtSMs52013-5-5 00:21:04
It was just such a simple fight, feeling somewhat like a dangerous lion toying with his prey, not deciding if he could take the overmatched foe down, but when.
Despite the Italian coming in undefeated, it was an easy, expected win for Klitschko.
And that epitomizes the heavyweight division—boring, bland, predictable. If an undefeated challenger took on a storied champion 10 years older than him in any other division, it would be a massively hyped fight.
But this one flew completely under the radar for anyone who isn't a major boxing fan.
What's worse is that the competition for Klitschko's top spot won't get much better. Some are clamoring for undefeated 24-year-old Tyson Fury, but a more likely battle awaits with Alexander Povetkin, who holds the WBA (Regular) Heavyweight title (via ESPN's Ian Darke):
Ian Darke @IanDarke
Vladimir klitschko mismatch tonight. Enough is enough. Must meet Povetkin next in Aug.2013-5-4 22:39:31
Still, no matter who matches up with the Ukranian, the result figures to be the same—a win for Klitschko.
Which just so happens to be the ongoing theme of the increasingly disappointing heavyweight division.