Death shocks sports world

2012-09-24 00:00

LONDON-BASED sports journalist Neal Collins said the death of Corrie Sanders (48) had rocked the boxing world as news of his death spread through the social networks.

Sanders surprised the punters in 2003 when he defeated Wladimir Klitschko to win the WBO heavyweight title with his sniping southpaw.

Locally, tributes to the fallen champion flooded Twitter.

Springbok rugby player Breyton Paulse tweeted: “Gone too soon”, and Olympic gold medallist Cameron van der Burgh added: “Rest in peace Corrie. A champion of the world.”

Former Springbok captain John Smit tweeted: “Just woke up to news of Corrie Sanders having been murdered last night, what another senseless waste of life in SA. RIP Champion.”

Former Proteas cricketer Pat Symcox said: “Feel sick to the core. Just so damn angry over Corrie’s murder. A helpless feeling and one that wants to scream out.”

Former captain Shaun Pollock tweeted: “Tragic news about Corrie Sanders. My thoughts are with his family. RIP.”

Former Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates star Mark Fish said: “So sad to hear about the tragic death of SA boxing great and a true gentleman Corrie Sanders. Condolences to all his family.”

Sports reporter David Isaacson said: “Harold Volbrecht had a small gym, Corrie and Msukisi Sikali were stable-mates and world champs together. Both murdered. Shocking.”

Radio presenter Darren Scott pulled no punches. He tweeted: “To the sons of bitches who murdered my friend Corrie Sanders. I hope you f**king rot in hell.”

Fellow veteran boxing champion Kallie Knoetze said yesterday his friend Sanders was a “great man and a very good ambassador for boxing and for South Africa”.

Knoetze said Sanders had been especially positive about the future recently. “He sometimes had it tough financially, but recently he had been living very close to the Lord and kept saying ‘Things will come right because the Lord does not sleep’,” said Knoetze.

He added he had “cried hard” with Sanders’s ex-wife Sunette and the children yesterday and that the sadness was very hard to bear.

In a recent interview during a charity golf day, Sanders told the Sunday Tribune how proud he was to be South African.

“I must say that it always makes me very proud to go out and meet all the great people in this wonderful country of ours. I loved this country too much to move to the U.S. like other boxers. It might sound strange, but I felt I had more black fans than white.

“I think the two big sports in the black community are boxing and soccer, and whenever I was out and about, they would stop me and want to chat. That was always very humbling.”

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