Two-time world heavyweight title contender Francesco Pianeta (35-4-1) will come to the UK for the first time in his 13-year career to provide Tyson Fury (26-0) with his second fight back from retirement.
The heavyweights will square off on August 18 at Northern Ireland’s national stadium, Windsor Park, in Belfast.
Relatively unknown to the British public, BBN dug up some interesting facts about the visiting fighter:
1 Francesco Pianeta was born on October 8 1984 in Corigliano Calabro, Calabria, Italy but his family emigrated to Germany when he was six
2 His father worked in a Butchers in Gelsenkirchen, a city in Western Germany, but the Italian-born boxer has kept close ties to his country of birth and has ambitions to win the Italian heavyweight title
3 Pianeta originally trained in Muay Thai and had a record of nine wins and one loss before switching to professional boxing in 2005
4 He is trained by trained by Olympic gold medalist Manfred Wolke (1968 Mexico City welterweight champion) and promoted by SES Boxing
5 ‘The Italian Ace’ currently holds 35 wins from 40 bouts with 21 knockout victories, but has only won three of his last five fights during 2017-2018
6 He has won five titles – WBC Youth World; EBU European Union; German International; WBO European; and IBO International heavyweight titles
7 A rising prospect, he reached 29 fights unbeaten when he challenged Wladimir Klitschko (59-3) for the WBA Super, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles in May 2013, resulting in three knockdowns en route to a sixth-round TKO defeat. His next big outing was against WBA (Regular) champion Ruslan Chagaev (33-2-1) and he was stopped seven seconds before the first bell.
8 The 33-year-old has boxed in eight different countries – Germany, Italy, Poland, Switzerland, Ireland, Austria, Denmark and Hungary – but has never fought in the United Kingdom before but has fought against UK opponents – Matt Skelton (22-3) and Scott Gammer (18-2-1), beating both for the European title in Germany
9 The southpaw’s last appearance in the ring ended in a unanimous points defeat at the hands of unbeaten Peter Milas (11-0) in Munich, trying to win back the IBO International heavyweight title he won in July 2017 but conceded to American Kevin Johnson (31-8-1) in his first defence three months later
10 Pianeta is 6’5” tall – just four inches shorter than Fury – and has weighed in between 233lbs and 254lbs during his 40-fight career, which is one-and-a-half stone lighter than Tyson's last appearance on the scales