This fight was supposed to be a tune-up for Klitschko as Corrie Sanders had only fought three times in the past 35 months.
Although known for his punching power, Sanders wasn't supposed to be a major threat to WBO Champion, Wladimir Klitschko.
Corrie Sanders aggressively came out and stood toe-to-toe with Klitschko in round one. Both men exchanged punches but it was the southpaw, Sanders, who landed cleaner and did more damage. Sanders's left, which he landed easily and often, knocked the champion backwards until a devastating left hook floored Wladimir with 35 seconds left in Round 1. Weary, Klitschko barely got up as the referee reached the count of eight. He was permitted to continue.
Clearly still hurt, Klitschko did nothing to avoid the well-anticipated attack of Corrie Sanders. Sanders jumped all over Klitschko and after landing several shots, floors him again. Klitschko, up at the count of eight, is now cut and bleeding over his left eye but is able to survive the last few seconds of the round.
In the second round Sanders finished his opponent. Sanders's left hand was simply too fast and too strong for Klitschko to evade. Klitschko was down again within the first seven seconds of the round by a hard left hook that landed squarely on the champion's chin. Klitschko, obviously still hurt from the beating in Round 1, arose quickly only to be overwhelmed by a barrage of Sanders's punches that sent him to the canvas one last time.
The referee stopped the fight and Corrie Sanders, 39-2 (29 KOs) of South America became the new WBO Heavyweight Champion.
Sanders would relinquish the WBO Title to fight Wladimir's brother, Vitali, for the WBC Title 13 months later. Sanders was stopped in the 8th Round.
Klitschko down 4 times; 2x in Round 1 and 2x in Round 2
Named The Ring magazine Upset of the Year for 2003.
Klischko was making his 6th defense of the WBO Title
Corrie Sanders KO 2 Wladimir Klitschko (2003)
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