Sanders heroic end fitting of a world champion
By John J. Raspanti, Doghouse Boxing (Sept 25, 2012) Doghouse Boxing
Corrie Sanders
The senseless death of former W.B.O. heavyweight champion Corrie Sanders is another reminder of how fleeting life can be.

Sanders, 46, was celebrating his nephew Michael's 21st birthday, at a restaurant in Britz, South Africa last Saturday night when four gunmen burst into the establishment and began firing. Sanders told his daughter Marinic, 15, to play dead, and then draped his body over her. A burst of gunfire split the air. Sanders, hit in the hand and abdomen, was rushed to a hospital in nearby Pretoria where he died eight hours later.

Nicknamed "The Sniper" due to his fast hands, Sanders shocked the boxing world when he knocked out Wladimir Klitschko in 2003 to capture the WBO heavyweight crown. At 37-years-old, and mostly inactive, many boxing experts gave Sanders little chance of upsetting Klitschko. Instead, fighting out of the southpaw stance, Sanders dropped  Klistchsko four times en route to a second round stoppage. The victory catapulted the South African to the top of the heavyweight division, and motivated big brother Vitali Klitschko to seek revenge.  

Sanders won the South African heavyweight title when he knocked out Johnny Du Plonny in the first round in 1991. After being stopped himself by Nate Tubbs, Sanders rebounded with six straight victories. He outpointed Ross Purity in 1997 to win the vacant WBU heavyweight title. Sanders fought sparingly from 1998-2002. His loss to Hasim Rahman was a painful one. Sanders was able to hurt Rahman numerous times times during their fight until running out of gas and being stopped in the seventh round.

The Klitschko's got their revenge on Sanders in 2004 when Vitali stopped him in round eight. Sanders won his next three bouts until running into a hard left hook from Osborne Machimana in 2007. Sanders couldn't beat the count and announced his retirement after the bout.

Sanders finished his career with a record of 42 wins and only 4 losses.

The Klitschko brothers released a statement after Sanders death was announced.

“We were shocked to learn of the sudden death of Corrie Sanders and we want to express our sincere condolences to his family," said the Klitschko's.

"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.”

Last night it was reported that a heartbroken Marinic, and her 12-year-old brother Dean, were begging to see their dad one more time.

Rest in peace champ.

Follow and visit John on Twitter:!/johnboxing1

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