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Wladimir Klitschko vs. Corrie Sanders

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2003-03-08 : Corrie Sanders 225 lbs beat Wladimir Klitschko 242½ lbs by TKO at 0:27 in round 2 of 12


South African Sanders Knocks Out Klitschko
Los Angeles Times, March 9, 2003

Corrie Sanders of South Africa knocked out Wladimir Klitschko 27 seconds into the second round Saturday to take the World Boxing Organization heavyweight title in a major upset at Hanover, Germany.

Sanders caught the 6-foot-7, 240-pound Klitschko with a short hard left with 33 seconds left in the first round, then sent him down to the canvas three more times.

It was Klitschko's sixth defense of the lightly regarded WBO belt. He was regarded by many as a top contender in the weight class and had just signed a nine-fight deal with HBO.

The outcome drew boos from a crowd of 11,500, angered over the brevity of the fight and the unexpected result.

Klitschko remained confident despite the loss.

"I'm certain I will come back. I'm certain I will be world champion," he said. "All great champions have been beaten, then came back. It happened to Ali, it's happened to Lennox Lewis too."

Klitschko's brother, Vitali, is ranked No. 1 by both the World Boxing Council and World Boxing Association and is in limbo waiting for a possible fight with reluctant champion Lennox Lewis.

Klitschko (40-2) went down twice in the last minute of the first round, reeling around the ring as he tried to avoid Sanders' blows and then was dropped twice in the second.

Sanders (39-2, 29 knockouts) had fought only three rounds since being knocked out by Hasim Rahman nearly three years ago.

Preceded by:
W. Klitschko vs. McCline
WBO Heavyweight Title Fight
# 28
Succeeded by:
Brewster vs. W. Klitschko I

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