Name: Corrie Sanders
Alias: The Sniper
Birth Name: Cornelius Johannes Sanders
Birthplace: Brits, Gauteng, South Africa
Died: 2012-09-23 (Age:46)
Hometown: Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa
Height: 6′ 4″ / 193cm
Reach: 77″ / 196cm
Boxing Record: click
Manger: Vernon Smith
Trainer: Harold Volbrecht
Corrie Sanders was a former WBO and WBU Heavyweight Champion. A hard punching southpaw, he began his professional career in 1989 after winning 196 of 200 amateur bouts. In his eleventh fight, Sanders knocked out Johnny DuPlooy in one round to win the South African Heavyweight Title. After 23 consecutive wins, Sanders was knocked out in two rounds by Nate Tubbs on May 21, 1994. Sanders came back three months later with a first-round knockout of Carlos DeLeon.
There was talk that newly-crowned World Heavyweight Champion Michael Moorer would defend his title against Sanders in March 1995, but Moorer lost the title to George Foreman in his first title defense on November 5, 1995. Unfortunately for Sanders, Foreman wasn't interested in fighting him.
Sanders won the lightly regarded WBU Heavyweight Championship with a lopsided twelve-round unanimous decision against Ross Puritty on November 15, 1997. Sanders lost the title in his fourth defense to Hasim Rahman on May 20, 2000. Both fighters were knocked down in the third round, and Sanders went down again in the fourth. In the seventh round, the referee stopped the fight as Sanders was taking punishment along the ropes. Rahman later stated, "I've never been hit like that in my life."
After the Rahman loss, Sanders briefly considered retirement but continued to fight, albeit sporadically. He fought just once in 2001 and once in 2002.
On March 8, 2003, Sanders pulled off a big upset when he knocked out Wladimir Klitschko in two rounds to win the WBO Heavyweight Championship. Klitschko was down twice in the first round and twice in the second. The Ring named the fight Upset of the Year for 2003.
Following the Klitschko fight, there were discussions for a unification fight with Roy Jones Jr., the WBA Heavyweight Champion, but Jones lost interest when the WBO told Sanders he would be stripped of the title if he fought Jones. "Why would I fight a guy who's 6'4, left-handed and doesn't have a title?" Jones said.
The WBO demanded that Sanders make his first title defense against Lamon Brewster, the #1 WBO heavyweight contender. Sanders refused: he wanted a fight that would bring him a bigger purse. He eventually decided to relinquish the WBO title and fight Vitali Klitschko, the WBC #1 heavyweight contender, for the WBC Heavyweight Championship, which had become vacant with the retirement of Lennox Lewis. After Sanders gave up the WBO title, the WBC ranked him #2 among the heavyweights.
Vitali Klitschko stopped Sanders in eight rounds to win the vacant WBC Heavyweight Championship on April 24, 2004. Sanders landed some big left hands in the first round, but that was the only round he won on all three official scorecards. Sanders took a beating the rest of the way, and the referee stopped the fight in the eighth round.
Sanders fought for the last time on February 2, 2008. He faced Osborne Machimana for the South African Heavyweight Championship and was knocked out in the first round.
In retirement, Sanders played a lot golf and was told by his friend, former British Open Champion David Duval, that he could qualify for the Professional Golf Association tour. Besides golf, Sanders concentrated on various business interests and worked as a motivational speaker.
On September 22, 2012, Sanders was shot in the hand and stomach at a family member's 21st birthday party at a restaurant in Brits, in South Africa's North West province. He died in a hospital in the capital city of Pretoria the next day. He was 46.
Police Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said three armed men entered the restaurant with the apparent intention to rob it and shot randomly, hitting Sanders shielding his daughter. No other injuries were reported. The robbers took a cellphone and a bag from customers, Ngubane said. The three suspected gunmen were arrested several days later.
| WBO Heavyweight Champion
2003 Mar 8 – 2004 Feb 1