Birthday dinner ends in tragedy for Corrie Sanders

Sep 24, 2012, 08:59 IST | AFP

South Africa's former world heavyweight champion Corrie Sanders died of wounds sustained in a shooting at a Pretoria restaurant where he was celebrating his nephew's 21st birthday, police reported yesterday

Three men burst into the restaurant on Saturday evening and fired randomly where the family were dining, shooting Sanders in the stomach and hand as he dived in front of his daughter to protect her. The 46-year-old died from his injuries yesterday morning.

Corrie Sanders punches Wladimir Klitschko during their WBO heavyweight fight in 2003. Pic/Getty Images

Police had originally said that Sanders had been there for his daughter’s birthday but the owner of the restaurant clarified that later. “Michael’s (the brother of the victim) son was turning 21, and Corrie was also there when they (the robbers) came,” Johan Bejager told the Sapa news agency.

Sanders retired in 2008 with an impressive record of 42 wins against just four defeats, with his most famous vicory being in 2003 when he won the WBO world heavyweight title by knocking-out Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko in the second round after putting him down four times. It was hailed as one of the greatest upsets in boxing history but Sanders could not beat his brother Vitali when he fought him for his WBC heavyweight title a year later with the fight being stopped in the eighth round.

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