By James Slater – According to Boxrec.com, veteran heavyweight name Frans Botha will face huge Italian southpaw Francesco Pianeta on Sept. 7th in Germany. The match-up was originally set for this past May, but 43-year-old Botha suffered an injury and had to pull out (leaving fellow veteran and former WBC heavyweight champ Oliver McCall to step in at short notice and lose a wide decision).
Now, coming off consecutive stoppage losses, to Michael Grant and Carlos Takam respectively, the South African with the 48-7-3(29) record will travel once again to Deutschland. 27-year-old Pianeta, unbeaten at 26-0-1(14) looks sure to bag himself his third win of the year. Some people feel, however, that the contender based in Germany is going backwards in terms of quality of opposition.
Wins over the likes of Matt Skelton, Mike Marrone and Scott Gammer came in European Union title fights, yet now Pianeta is facing recognisable names who are way, way, way past their best. At least the 6’5” Italian is keeping busy. After he pounds out a win over Botha – for my money either a clear points win or maybe a late-rounds stoppage victory – Pianeta will hopefully test himself against a legitimate top-10 guy.
As for Botha, he should have retired a long time ago, yet like so many ageing heavies, he insists on sticking around. Needless to say, it would be a big upset if Botha, who has been in with everyone from Michael Moorer to Axel Schulz to Wladimir Klitschko to Lennox Lewis, were to pull off a win next month.