Corrie was like a son to me

2012-09-29 17:29

Late in 1989, I received a phone call from a guy in Cape Town. He told me Corrie Sanders, a young heavyweight boxer, was keen on joining my stable.

I’d seen Corrie fight as an amateur and had recognised his talent at that early stage.

I went to Cape Town and brought Corrie back to Gauteng. He stayed in my home from that day until he got married.

Although I was only 10 years older than Corrie, he was like the son I never had – other times a younger brother!

He was an exceptional sportsman, excelling in many different fields.

An outstanding sprinter (most unusual for such a tall guy), a talented rugby player and his favourite – golf!

Corrie was a very kind-hearted guy and was always available to assist in raising funds at charity golf days, such as the Reach for a Dream Foundation and other worthy causes.

His boxing career speaks for itself, he was a two-time heavyweight champion.

Corrie held the World Boxing Union heavyweight world title and the World Boxing Organisation version.

His title fight against Ukrainian Wladimir Klitchko made the boxing promoters sit up and take notice as he knocked Vladimir out in Round 2.

Now the world recognised what an excellent boxer Corrie was. He was a scientific fighter and had terrific hand speed.

Add to that his combinations and the fact that he was a tricky southpaw, which made him even more successful.

He went on to fight the other Klitchko brother, Vitali.

The fight was held in the Staples Center, Los Angeles.

It was a star-studded evening, with many Hollywood celebrities turning out, plus the who’s who of the boxing world.

Many people don’t know that Corrie entered the ring that night nursing an injured forearm.

A few months earlier, he had severed the tendons in his arm when he fell through a glass door.

Corrie lost the fight, but put up an amazing display.

I have many fond memories to cherish of all the fun times we had when we were in training camps overseas, at home in the gym or on the golf course.

I have had so many fans, friends and people from the boxing fraternity from home and overseas call with their condolences.

Corrie was well respected by all who knew him. He will be sadly missed by his children, family and friends.

Rest In Peace, Corrie.

»Volbrecht is a former South African welterweight champion and was Corrie Sanders’ trainer

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