Cornelius Johannes "Corrie" Sanders (7 January 1966 – 23 September 2012) was a South African professional boxer who competed from 1989 to 2008. He won the WBO heavyweight title in 2003 after knocking out Wladimir Klitschko in two rounds, which was considered one of the biggest upsets in heavyweight boxing history; The Ring magazine named it the Upset of the Year. In 2004, having vacated the WBO title, Sanders faced Wladimir's brother Vitali Klitschko in an unsuccessful but valiant challenge for the vacant WBC and Ring heavyweight titles. He also held the WBU heavyweight title from 1997 until 2000. Sanders' other notable achievements include holding the South Africa national heavyweight title in 1991, defeating former cruiserweight champions Carlos de León and Bobby Czyz by first round and second-round knockout respectively, and losing in a close slugfest fight with future unified and two-time world heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman (Rahman and Sanders both knocked each other down during the bout, and Sanders was ahead on the judges' scorecards prior to the stoppage).
|Real name||Cornelius Johannes Sanders|
|Height||1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)|
|Reach||196 cm (77 in)|
|Born||7 January 1966|
Brits, North West,
|Died||23 September 2012 (aged 46)|
|Wins by KO||31|
Nicknamed The Sniper, Sanders was a southpaw with a long reach, and was known for carrying formidable knockout power in his straight left hand. Wladimir Klitschko labeled Sanders the hardest puncher he ever faced in a December 2014 interview with Ring magazine, saying: "I’ve been in boxing for 25 years and I never fought anybody in this game that punched like Corrie Sanders." Hasim Rahman said of Sanders following their match: "I've never been hit that hard in my life."
Early life and amateur careerEdit
Sanders grew up in Brits, South Africa, and was of Afrikaner descent. Having been introduced to boxing by his uncle, Sanders finished his amateur career in the late 1980s with 180 wins and 11 losses.
Sanders made his professional debut in 1989 with a first-round knockout of King Kong Dyubele on 2 April 1989. He went on to win his next 22 bouts, 14 by knockout. Among the fighters he defeated during that streak were Steve Zouski, Art Card, future WBO cruiserweight champion Johnny Nelson, and future world title challenger Bert Cooper. In his 24th bout, on 21 May 1994, Sanders suffered his first defeat, at the hands of Nate Tubbs via a second-round knockout.
He fought 12 more times over the next five years, including a first-round knockout over former world cruiserweight champion Carlos De León and a second-round knockout over another former world champion, Bobby Czyz. A stoppage loss to future heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman in a bout Sanders was winning confirmed his ability and also his vulnerability. Returning to the ring in 2001 he scored a quick win over Michael Sprott and then followed this up with a defeat of Otis Tisdale in 2002. Corrie Sanders' biggest weapons were his southpaw fast hands that he used to knock fighters out early.
WBO heavyweight championEdit
Despite the fact that he had fought only three rounds in the last two years, the WBO sanctioned a challenge to their heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko. On 8 March 2003, Sanders provided a stunning upset in Hanover, Germany, by dropping Klitschko four times to snatch the Ukrainian's belt by a second-round knockout.
WBC heavyweight title challengeEdit
Sanders vacated the WBO title in December 2003 after refusing to fight the organization's No.1 contender Lamon Brewster. He then signed a contract to fight for the vacant WBC belt. The fight took place on 24 April 2004, against Wladimir's older brother, Vitali. Sanders was stopped by Vitali in the eighth round of the fight in the Staples Center in Los Angeles. After Sanders death, Vitali went on to pay his respects to Sanders by calling this the hardest fight of his career.
Sanders returned to action after two years in November 2006 to score a second round stoppage win over the Australian heavyweight champion Colin Wilson at the Convention Centre in Mafikeng. He had signed with Golden Gloves Promotions, and won another bout in South Africa against Brazilian Daniel Bispo in May 2007. His last bout, of the South African heavyweight title, was a loss to Osborne Machimana, a bout he took despite being injured beforehand. Sanders' final record was 42 wins (31 by knockout) and 4 losses.
On 22 September 2012, Sanders was fatally shot in an armed robbery at a restaurant called Thatch Haven in Brits, South Africa, where a function was being held for his nephew's 21st birthday. Sanders was taken to a hospital in Pretoria, where he died in the early hours of 23 September 2012 of his wounds. Sanders' widow, Suzette Sanders, said Corrie died a hero, using his body to protect his daughter from oncoming bullets.
Sanders had been near the entrance of the restaurant talking to his daughter Marinique and a cousin when three robbers entered firing their guns, striking Sanders in the stomach and arm as he moved in front of his daughter to protect her. Sanders was already bleeding from his wounds when he pulled her to the ground and told her to pretend she was dead.
On 27 September 2012, following a tip-off, North West police arrested three men in Oukasie near Brits charging them with the murder of Sanders. All three were citizens of Zimbabwe. At the first location, two suspects were apprehended and police recovered a cellular phone, vehicle key, purse and cash stolen during the robbery. Police then went to a second address and a third suspect was arrested, and recovered a handbag stolen in the robbery. The trial was initially postponed until August 2013 as investigators attempted to locate the gun used in the crime based on the fourth suspect involved, who is currently serving a 30-year sentence in Zimbabwe for killing a police officer.
On 11 February 2015, a High Court in Pretoria Judge Ferdi Preller sentenced Paida Fish, Chris Moyo and Samuel Mabena each to 43 years imprisonment, of which they have to serve 30, on charges of murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, and the unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition.
Professional boxing recordEdit
|46 fights||42 wins||4 losses|
|46||Loss||42–4||Osborne Machimana||TKO||1 (12), 2:41||2 Feb 2008||Emperor's Palace, Kempton Park, South Africa||For South African heavyweight title|
|45||Win||42–3||Daniel Bispo||UD||10||12 May 2007||Emperor's Palace, Kempton Park, South Africa|
|44||Win||41–3||Colin Wilson||TKO||2 (10)||24 Nov 2006||Convention Centre, Mafikeng, South Africa|
|43||Win||40–3||Alexey Varakin||KO||2 (8), 1:59||14 Dec 2004||Schwarzl Freizeit Zentrum, Sölden, Austria|
|42||Loss||39–3||Vitali Klitschko||TKO||8 (12), 2:46||24 Apr 2004||Staples Center, Los Angeles, California, US||For vacant WBC and The Ring heavyweight titles|
|41||Win||39–2||Wladimir Klitschko||TKO||2 (12), 0:27||8 Mar 2003||Preussag Arena, Hanover, Germany||Won WBO heavyweight title|
|40||Win||38–2||Otis Tisdale||TKO||2 (10), 1:40||9 Nov 2002||Coca-Cola Bricktown Events Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, US|
|39||Win||37–2||Michael Sprott||TKO||1 (8), 1:25||3 Nov 2001||Carnival City, Brakpan, South Africa|
|38||Loss||36–2||Hasim Rahman||TKO||7 (12), 1:50||20 May 2000||Bally's Park Place, Atlantic City, New Jersey, US||Lost WBU heavyweight title|
|37||Win||36–1||Al Cole||TKO||1 (12), 1:13||19 Feb 2000||Carnival City, Brakpan, South Africa||Retained WBU heavyweight title|
|36||Win||35–1||Jorge Valdes||TKO||1 (12), 0:30||2 Jul 1999||Whitchurch Leisure Centre, Bristol, England||Retained WBU heavyweight title|
|35||Win||34–1||Bobby Czyz||TKO||2 (12), 1:43||12 Jun 1998||Mohegan Sun Arena, Montville, Connecticut, US||Retained WBU heavyweight title|
|34||Win||33–1||Ross Puritty||UD||12||15 Nov 1997||Carousel Casino, Hammanskraal, South Africa||Won vacant WBU heavyweight title|
|33||Win||32–1||Arthur Weathers||TKO||1 (10), 1:37||7 Feb 1997||Las Vegas Hilton, Winchester, Nevada, US|
|32||Win||31–1||Olian Alexander||TKO||2 (10)||12 Sep 1996||Hilton, Huntington, New York, US|
|31||Win||30–1||Sean Hart||TKO||2 (10), 1:18||20 Aug 1996||The Theater at Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, US|
|30||Win||29–1||Curtis Shepard||KO||1 (10), 1:12||20 Jul 1996||Morula Sun, Mabopane, South Africa|
|29||Win||28–1||Keith Fletcher||KO||4 (10), 1:16||26 Jan 1996||Hilton Metropole Hotel, Brighton, England|
|28||Win||27–1||James Pritchard||TKO||4 (10)||5 Aug 1995||Manuel Lujan Building, Albuquerque, New Mexico, US|
|27||Win||26–1||Nikolay Kulpin||UD||10||1 Apr 1995||Superbowl, Sun City, South Africa|
|26||Win||25–1||Garing Lane||PTS||8||24 Sep 1994||Wembley Arena, London, England|
|25||Win||24–1||Carlos de León||TKO||1 (10), 0:49||13 Aug 1994||Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, US|
|24||Loss||23–1||Nate Tubbs||KO||2 (10), 1:26||21 May 1994||Carousel Casino, Hammanskraal, South Africa|
|23||Win||23–0||Mike Williams||KO||1 (10), 2:58||19 Mar 1994||Carousel Casino, Hammanskraal, South Africa|
|22||Win||22–0||Marshall Tillman||TKO||6 (10)||5 Feb 1994||The Aladdin, Paradise, Nevada, US|
|21||Win||21–0||Levi Billups||KO||1 (10)||6 Nov 1993||Superbowl, Sun City, South Africa|
|20||Win||20–0||George Stephens||TKO||1 (10)||4 Sep 1993||The Aladdin, Paradise, Nevada, US|
|19||Win||19–0||Bert Cooper||TKO||3 (10), 1:26||6 Jun 1993||Steel Pier, Atlantic City, New Jersey, US|
|18||Win||18–0||Matthew Brooks||TKO||1 (10), 2:00||17 Apr 1993||ARCO Arena, Sacramento, California, US|
|17||Win||17–0||Johnny Nelson||UD||10||24 Oct 1992||Morula Sun, Mabopane, South Africa|
|16||Win||16–0||Mike Evans||UD||10||22 Aug 1992||Superbowl, Sun City, South Africa|
|15||Win||15–0||Mike Dixon||PTS||8||9 May 1992||The Mirage, Paradise, Nevada, US|
|14||Win||14–0||Anthony Wade||UD||10||22 Feb 1992||Superbowl, Sun City, South Africa|
|13||Win||13–0||Art Card||TKO||1 (10)||23 Nov 1991||Superbowl, Sun City, South Africa|
|12||Win||12–0||Mike Rouse||UD||10||28 Sep 1991||Superbowl, Sun City, South Africa|
|11||Win||11–0||Johnny DuPlooy||KO||1 (12)||27 Jul 1991||Superbowl, Sun City, South Africa||Won vacant South African heavyweight title|
|10||Win||10–0||Steve Gee||TKO||4 (8), 1:05||6 Apr 1991||Dolphin Centre, Darlington, England|
|9||Win||9–0||Steve Zouski||UD||8||8 Nov 1990||Biloxi, Mississippi, US|
|8||Win||8–0||Moses Mthama||TKO||1 (6)||4 Aug 1990||Superbowl, Sun City, South Africa|
|7||Win||7–0||Jorge Vilchis||KO||1 (8)||23 May 1990||First National Bank Arena, Durban, South Africa|
|6||Win||6–0||Weaver Qwabe||TKO||1 (8)||29 Mar 1990||Portuguese Hall, Johannesburg, South Africa|
|5||Win||5–0||Samson Mahlangu||TKO||3 (6), 2:20||9 Sept 1989||Morula Sun, Mabopane, South Africa|
|4||Win||4–0||Gideon Hlongwa||TKO||3 (6), 2:15||5 Aug 1989||Superbowl, Sun City, South Africa|
|3||Win||3–0||David Malatsi||TKO||1 (4)||27 May 1989||Superbowl, Sun City, South Africa|
|2||Win||2–0||Prince Tukane||PTS||4||24 Apr 1989||Goodwood Showgrounds, Cape Town, South Africa|
|1||Win||1–0||King Kong Dyubele||TKO||1 (4)||2 Apr 1989||Good Hope Centre, Cape Town, South Africa|
- Christie, Matt (7 January 2016). "On This Day: Heavyweight hammer-fist Corrie Sanders born in 1966". Boxing News. Newsquest. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
- Wainright, Anson. "Best I've Faced: Wladimir Klitschko." The Ring. December 2014.
- Afrikaner boxer Corrie Sanders dies after shooting in Brits. 23 September 2012.
- "Former heavyweight champ Corrie Sanders killed in South Africa". Fox News. 23 September 2012. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
- "Corrie Sanders Shot, Later Dies From The Injuries - Boxing News". Boxingscene.com. 23 September 2012. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
- "Corrie Sanders". The Daily Telegraph. London. 5 October 2012.
- Evans, Gavin (25 September 2012). "Corrie Sanders: Heavyweight world champion". The Independent. Retrieved 1 July 2017.
- "Он уничтожил Владимира Кличко за три с половиной минуты. После карьеры хотел стать тренером, но умер от пули" (in Russian). Retrieved 29 April 2021.
- "Corrie could have been saved - family". News24. 7 August 2010. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
- "The Citizen Online | Ring hero Sanders killed - Local News". Citizen.co.za. 23 September 2012. Archived from the original on 21 April 2013. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
- "Corrie Sanders killers get 30 years each". News 24. 11 February 2015.
- "iafrica.com Corrie 'murderers' caught". iAfrica.com. Archived from the original on 1 October 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2015.
- Ngoepe, Karabo; Chabungu, Boitumelo (16 March 2013). "New obstacle in Corrie Sanders murder case". iolnews.