Heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (pictured right) paid tribute to late boxer Corrie Sanders on Thursday, saying the South African made him the fighter he is today. Klitschko said his shocking second-round knockout against Sanders to lose his WBO title in 2003 was pivotal in his later dominance of the heavyweight division. Sanders died last weekend after being shot by robbers during a family celebration at a restaurant in a small town in northern South Africa. Sanders’ emphatic defeat of Klitschko nearly a decade ago is one of only three professional defeats for the Ukrainian, who holds the WBA, IBF and minor WBO and IBO belts, and hasn’t lost a fight in eight years.
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