Sunday, September 23, 2012

R.I.P. Corrie Sanders

Former WBO heavyweight champion Corrie Sanders was shot and killed earlier today in Pretoria, South Africa.  Police say Sanders was shot in the hand and stomach at hi nephew Michael's 21st birthday party at the Thatch Haven restaurant in Brits, in South Africa's North West province, on Saturday night when four armed men stormed in randomly shooting. According to SAPA news agency, the former boxing champion was at the entrance to the venue, making his way to the buffet, when the shooting started. Eyewitnesses said Sanders had told his daughter Marinic, 15, to get down and play dead and was covering his daughter when he was shot. The 46 year old died in a hospital 8 hours later in the capital city of Pretoria early Sunday morning.

 His ex wife Sunette Sanders said the SA boxing champion died a hero. She seen him shot 1st hand while attending the 21st birthday party of a nephew. Sunette Sanders said robbers came into the Thatch Haven restaurant in Brits on Saturday night and started kicking and slapping people. She became emotional when she told how Corrie dove to protect his daughter when shots were fired. “I think he died a hero. He was just protecting his girl because they were shooting.” Police brigadier Thulani Ngubane told South African news media a search was continuing for the gunmen in a murder inquiry.

Sanders' former trainer Harold Volbrecht was also understandably emotional when news of his fighter’s passing had been publicized. “This is very sad. My heart is broken. It’s just terrible. I can’t believe this has happened.”

 The Klitschko's had both fought Sanders.  Wladimir took a loss from Sanders in 2003 and Vitali avenged that loss 13 months later in a vacant WBC championship bout in 2004. Vitali Klitschko said Sanders was his toughest fight after news of Sanders death.  Klitschko's had this to say about the incident:

"We were shocked to learn of the sudden death of Corrie Sanders and we want to express our sincere condolences to his family.  We will remember Corrie as a great person both inside and outside the ring. He was a great fighter with a big heart who always positively represented the sport of boxing."

Corrie was a self-admitted underachieve in boxing.  He excelled in golf and at one point was close to going on the PGA tour. 
His biggest achievement as a prizefighter was dropping and stopping current Heavyweight Champion Wladimir Klitschko four times en route to winning the WBO Heavyweight Championship in Hanover, Germany on March 8 th , 2003.  Corrie overwhelmed Klitschko with his unique blend of speed, power, and southpaw style, and ultimately won the title by way of sensational 2nd round knock-out.

 Sanders then vacated the WBO title in December of 2003 to compete for Lennox Lewis’ vacant WBC Heavyweight title. In a brave effort, Corrie was stopped by Wladimir’s brother, Vitali Klitschko, in a eight rounds brawl that took place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California on April 24 th , 2004.

After the bout, referee Jon Schorle called Corrie Sanders’ courageous effort against Vitali Klitschko, “one of the bravest performances I was ever privileged to be a part of”.

Besides the Klitschko's, Corrie was one of my favorite modern heavyweights.  Rest in Peace, Champ!!

Corrie Sanders; dead at the age of 46 (January 7th , 1966 – September 23, 2012)

Here is most likely one of the last times Corrie was live over the air.  It was aired 3 days before Corrie was murdered. He was on the line with another heavyweight boxer Francois Botha who is also from South Africa.

Corrie Sanders Highlights

1 comment:

  1. Another senseless killing - all too common in the new South Africa where whites are killed daily by Africans...


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