• Heavyweight

Klitschko silences retirement talk

ESPN staff
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World heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko has insisted he is not thinking about retirement from boxing and is fully motivated to keep fighting.

Speaking ahead of his WBA, IBF and WBO title defence against former sparring partner Franceso Pianeta in Germany on May 4, the 36-year-old Ukrainian stated he is still fully committed to the cause.

"I feel young enough to not think about it [retirement]. And, of course, I'm looking forward to get a challenge, that's my motivation," Klitschko said.

"This competition never stops and as long as I'm healthy and motivated I will continue to do the job that I have been doing," Klitshcko added.

Klitschko, defending his title for the 14th time since regaining champion status, has rubbished criticisms of the quality of his opponents and insists Pianeta will prove a difficult fight.

"I'm always criticised with my opponents , it doesn't matter if they are well known or not so much and it's always very difficult to fight against someone that is not known because you are always getting these critics," Klitschko said.

"I have to assure you that (the) fight against Francesco Pianeta is going to be very, very tough and difficult because he is super motivated," Klitschko said.

Cancer survivor Pianeta is unbeaten in 29 bouts with one draw and is relishing the step-up to fight Klitschko.

"Sure it will be the biggest experience (of my life), but not the biggest fight that I have already won, that was against cancer," the 28-year-old Italian said.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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