BELFAST — Tyson Fury had one man to get through to earn a lucrative showdown against Deontay Wilder in November. The lineal heavyweight champion played it safe over 10 rounds to easily defeat Francesco Pianeta and formally announced the Wilder fight as a November pay-per-view.
Fury set a pedestrian pace and easily controlled Pianeta with his footwork and switch-hitting. Pianeta plodded forward until the seventh. He was given time after complaining about a borderline body shot. From there, Fury made a concentrated effort to dig left hooks around Pianeta’s elbows and bully him against the ropes.
Pianeta was never closed to being stopped, but the body assault effectively ended his desire to take any chances over the final three rounds. The shutout scores of 100-90 were unanimous from the judges.
Deontay Wilder entered the ring for the post-fight confrontation and confirmed the fight is signed for November. Promoter Frank Warren stopped him from confirming the location, but Wilder quipped the belt won’t be “coming back here,” all but confirming the fight as taking place in Las Vegas.
I’m happy Fury went the full 10 rounds. Was it exciting? Absolutely not. But if he’s to have any chance against Wilder’s explosive power, he needs to have his timing and stamina on point for 12 rounds. While I’m not convinced he can keep Wilder at bay with that low guard, a distance bout prep has given Fury his best chance to succeed.
It’s important to note that Fury didn’t unveil his full arsenal. Once he realized Pianeta had nothing for him, he played it safe and possibly might have lulled Wilder into a false sense of security.
Either way, we only have three months before we find out.