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Corrie Sanders was a South African professional boxer who played from 1989 to 2008. He won the WBO heavyweight title in 2003 after knocking out reigning champion Wladimir Klitschko from Ukraine in two rounds, which was considered one of the biggest upsets in heavyweight boxing history.
He was born and raised in Brits, South Africa, and was of Afrikaner descent. He was introduced to boxing by his uncle at an early age. Corrie Sanders had a promising amateur career during which he won 180 matches that he played and lost only 11. However, not much information is made public about his personal life.
|Cornelius Johannes Sanders
|Date Of Birth
|7 January 1966
|Brits, South Africa
|6 ft 4 inches (1.93 m)
|240lbs (109 kg)
|1 (Marinique Sanders)
Corrie Sanders made his professional debut in 1989, after which he went on to win the next 22 matches, 14 by knockout. His unbeaten streak was decorated with wins against Steve Zouski, Art Card, future WBO cruiserweight champion Johnny Nelson, Bert Cooper. On 21 May 1994, Sanders suffered his first defeat during his 24th match against Nate Tubbs via a second-round knockout. He fought 12 more times over the next five years. Corrie Sanders’ biggest weapons were his southpaw fast hands that he used to knock fighters out early in matches. In 2003, Corrie Sanders delivered a shocker by knocking out reigning world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko 4 times and winning the title in a match held in Hannover, Germany.
However, he vacated the title the next year after refusing to fight against the challenger designated by the World Boxing Organization. He then filed a challenge to win the vacant title with World Boxing Council and got himself a match where he faced Vladimir’s older brother Vitali. Sonders lost that match, thus failing to win the championship. But Vitali Klitschko, after the match, went to pay respects to Sanders and said: “it was the hardest fight” of his career.
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In December 2004, Corrie Sanders knocked out Alexei Varakin in the second round of a contest held in Soelden, Austria. He briefly retired after that bout but returned to action after two years in November 2006 to score a second-round stoppage win over the Australian heavyweight champion Colin Wilson. However, the last match of his career ended with a defeat against Osborne Machimana, who he fought for the South African Heavyweight title, about he took despite being injured beforehand. He decided to call it quits after that match, and his final record stands at 42 wins in 46 matches, with only 4 defeats. He won 31 of them with knockouts.
Corrie Sanders was nicknamed “The Sniper” for his speedy southpaw hands. Even his opponents admired his ability. Wladimir Klitschko, who he defeated to clinch the world heavyweight title, said in 2014 that Sanders was the hardest hitter he’d ever seen. “I’ve been in boxing for 25 years, and I never fought anybody in this game that punched like Corrie Sanders.”, he said in an interview with the Ring magazine.
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Corrie Sanders had a glittering career as a professional boxer. During his decade-long stint, he earned both titles and fame. It has been estimated that from the earnings he made during his time as a boxer, his net worth could be around $8 million. Unfortunately, since he is no longer with us, we can’t say for sure how much he could have made in his post-boxing days.
On 22 September 2012, Corrie Sanders was fatally shot in an armed robbery at a restaurant in his hometown of Brits, South Africa, where he was present with his family celebrating his nephew’s 21st birthday. Sanders was the only fatality of the robbery, but he died saving his daughter. He was rushed to a hospital in Pretoria, where he died the next day because of fatal wounds.