Wladimir Klitschko vs. Corrie Sanders

Wladimir Klitschko vs. Corrie Sanders, billed as The Next Big Thing was a professional boxing match contested on 8 March 2003 for the WBO Heavyweight Championship.[1]

The Next Big Thing
W Klitschko vs. Sanders.jpg
Date8 March 2003
VenuePreussag Arena, Hannover, Germany
Title(s) on the lineWBO Heavyweight Championship
Tale of the tape
Boxer Ukraine Wladimir Klitschko South Africa Corrie Sanders
Nickname "Dr Steelhammer" "The Sniper"
Hometown Kyiv, Kyiv Oblast Pretoria, Gauteng
Pre-fight record 40–1 38–2
Height 6 ft 6 in (198 cm) 6 ft 4 in (193 cm)
Weight 242+12 lb (110 kg) 225 lb (102 kg)
Style Orthodox Southpaw
Recognition WBO
Heavyweight Champion
No. 11 Ranked Heavyweight
Sanders defeated Klitschko via 2nd round KO


Since beating Chris Byrd to win the WBO belt, Wladimir Klitschko had made five successful defences, all of which ended before the final round, and was ranked as the No.1 heavyweight contender by The Ring (WBC champion Lennox Lewis was the magazine's champion).[2] After failing to reach agreements with Kirk Johnson, Fres Oquendo, Lou Savarese and Danny Williams, Universum Box Promotion ultimately signed a 4-fight contract with Corrie Sanders, who was ranked No.9 contender by the WBO at the time. According to the agreement, Sanders's first fight was going to be for the WBO world heavyweight title.[3] Since a knockout loss to Hasim Rahman in May 2000, Sanders had only fought in a total of three rounds in the intervening two years and nine months.

The fightEdit

With thirty seconds left in the opening round, Wladimir threw a jab that Sanders countered with a big left hook, prompting Klitschko to enter a clinch. While in the clinch, Sanders landed another left hook that sent Klitschko to the canvas. Klitschko got up but was dropped again almost immediately. The following round, Sanders continued his assault on a visibly hurt Klitschko, dropping him twice more at the beginning of the round. The referee waived it off after the fourth knockdown.


In December 2003 Sanders vacated the WBO belt after refusing to fight the organization's No.1 contender Lamon Brewster.[3] The following year he faced Klitschko's brother Vitali for the WBC championship, which was left vacant after the retirement of Lennox Lewis. Vitali stopped Sanders in the 8th round. Sanders had four fights before retiring with a loss in 2008.

Wladimir had two more quick knockout victories before facing Lamon Brewster for the vacant WBO belt, however he was once again upset by the underdog.[4]


Country Broadcaster
  Germany ZDF
  United States HBO
  Hungary RTL Klub


  1. ^ "Wladimir Klitschko vs. Corrie Sanders - BoxRec". boxrec.com.
  2. ^ "The Ring Magazine's Annual Ratings: 2002 - BoxRec". boxrec.com.
  3. ^ a b "Он уничтожил Владимира Кличко за три с половиной минуты. После карьеры хотел стать тренером, но умер от пули" (in Russian). Retrieved 29 April 2021.
  4. ^ "Wladimir Klitschko vs. Lamon Brewster (1st meeting) - BoxRec". boxrec.com.
Preceded by Wladimir Klitschko' bouts
8 March 2003
Succeeded by
Preceded by
vs. Otis Tisdale
Corrie Sanders's bouts
8 March 2003
Succeeded by
Juan Carlos Rubio W10
Francisco Bojado
The Ring Magazine Upset of the Year
Glen Johnson KO9
Roy Jones, Jr.