Corrie's name tops Sombre List by Ron Jackson

The death of former WBU and WBO heavyweight champion Corrie Sanders was one of the saddest moments in sport in 2013.

The popular South African boxer was shot in a robbery near Brits on November 23. News of the 46-year-old southpaw’s death reverberated around the world, shocking sports enthusiasts in many countries.

Sanders, a former WBU and WBO champion, was famous for beating Wladimir Klitschko in Hanover, Germany, in 2003. He stopped the Ukrainian, who now holds the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO titles, in the second round to win the WBO title.

He also fought Vitali Klitschko in Los Angeles a year later in a bout for for the vacant WBC heavyweight title, but lost by a technical knock-out in the eighth round.

Named Cornelius Johannes, Sanders was born in Pretoria on January 7, 1966. When he retired from boxing in 2008 he had a record of 42 wins, 31 by knockout, and 4 defeats.

Another much admired SA boxer, Anthony Morodi, died on December 17. Known as Blue Jaguar, Morodi was a former SA bantamweight, junior lightweight and lightweight champion.

He was born near Lydenburg on April 9, 1943 and was 69 when he died. He retired with a professional record of 96-25-3, including 32 knockout victories.

Other noted former boxers who died during the year were:


Mike Bernardo – Born in Cape Town on July 28, 1969 and died on February 14, aged 42. Bernardo won the vacant World Boxing Federation heavyweight title on May 12, 2000 when he stopped Daniel Jerling in Szekszard, Hungary, in the sixth round. He retired with a record of 11-1-1; 9.

Siviwe Ntsiko – Born in Mdantsane, East London in 1981 and died on April 26, aged 31. Ntsiko was a SA minimumweight champion but relinquished his title after failing a medical examination early in April 2012. Record 9-3; 8.

Charlie Els – A former SA featherweight, lightweight and welterweight champion, who was born in Boksburg and died on June 2, aged 74. Record 31-14-2; 12.

Marcus Temple – Marcus William Leslie Temple was born in Luanshaya, Zambia, on April 21, 1932 and died on October 13, aged 80. He won a bronze medal in the flyweight division at the 1950 Empire Games and became the SA professional flyweight champion. Record 18-4-1; 6.

Lundi Madondile – Born in the Eastern Cape in 1982, he died on November 10 after a stabbing incident at his home, aged 30. Madondile, a junior featherweight, was ranked at No 6 by Boxing SA at the time of his death. Record 7-2; 3.


Several of the former boxers who died in 2012 had fought against South Africans, in South Africa and abroad.

Mike Koranicki – An American heavyweight who fought several South Africans. He knocked out Kallie Knoetze in the tenth round at the Good Hope Centre in Cape Town on December 19, 1979. The next year, on April 19, Gerrie Coetzee knocked him out in the first round at the Rand Stadium in Johannesburg. On December 19, 1980 Koranicki beat Jimmy Abbott over ten rounds at the Joekies Ice Rink in Welkom. He stopped Louis Hendriks in the second round at the Ellis Park Tennis Stadium in Johannesburg on January 31, 1981 and did the same to Bennie Knoetze at the Wembley Sports Pavilion in Johannesburg on November 1, 1982. On October 12, 1983 he stopped Robbie Williams in the eighth round at Kings Park in Durban. Born in 1952 in Youngstown, Ohio, Koranici was 60 when he died. Record 27-9-2; 38.

Eddie Perkins – A former WBA and WBC junior welterweight champion who fought several South Africans. He beat Joe Ngidi on points over ten rounds at the Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg on March 4, 1967. On October 19, 1968 he won on points over ten rounds against Mackeed Mofokeng in a fight at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto. The next year, on March 15, he beat Richard “Kid” Borias, on points over ten rounds at Curries Fountain in Durban. Two weeks later, on March 29, he beat Joseph Sishi on points over ten rounds at the same venue. He returned in 1974 and lost on points over ten rounds to Maxwell Malinga at the Rand Stadium in Johannesburg on October 26. Perkins was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi, on March 3, 1937 and died on May 10, aged 75.

Michael Dokes – Michael Marshall Dokes was born on August 10, 1958 in Akron, Ohio and died on August 12, aged 54. He won the WBA heavyweight title when he stopped Mike Weaver in the first round on December 10, 1982 and lost the title to Gerrie Coetzee on September 23, 1983. Record 53-6-2; 34.

Dave Charnley – The southpaw held the British and Empire lightweight titles. He outpointed Alby Tissong over eight rounds at the King’s Hall in Manchester. But another South Africam, Willie Toweel, beat him on points over 15 rounds at Earls Court in London on July 9, 1957 in a fight for the British Empire lightweight title, In in a return match on May 12, 1959 he knocked out Toweel in the tenth round at the Empire Pool in Wembley, London. Born on October 10, 1935 in Dartford in England he died on March 3, aged 76. Record 48- 12-1; 27.

Les Allen – Born on September 6, 1929 in Coventry in England, Allen fought in Johannesburg on January 27, 1951 when he lost on points over ten rounds to George Angelo at the Wembley Stadium. He also lost to another South African, Doug Miller, who knocked him out in the seventh round at the Embassy Rink, Birmingham, on March 12, 1951. He was 82 when he died on January 18. Record 64-23-7; 22.

Brian Curvis – Brian Nancurvis was born in Swansea, Wales, and died of leukemia at the age of 74 on January 9. The southpaw was a British and Commonwealth welterweight champion. He lost on points over ten rounds to Willie Ludick at the Rand Stadium in Johannesburg on April 3, 1965. Record 27-4; 22.

Joe Bygraves – Born in Kingston, Jamaica, on May 26, 1931 he died at the age of 86 on January 6. He won the vacant British Empire heavyweight title at the Empire Pool in Wembley, London, when he outpointed Kitone Lave over 15 rounds. His record was 42-28-2; 22.

Pat McCormack – Born in Ireland on April 28, 1946 and died on February 15, aged 65. He lost on points over ten rounds to Gert Craemer in the Badminton Hall of the Pretoria Showgrounds on June 14, 1975 but stopped Gielie Buitendag in the fourth round at the Ellis Park Tennis Stadium in Johannesburg on June 27, 1975. Record 30-18-1; 24.

Don Fulmer – He fought Pierre Fourie at the Ellis Park tennis stadium in Johannesburg on February 19, 1972 and lost on points. Fulmer was born in West Jordan, Utah, on February 21, 1939 and died on January 28, aged 72. Record 54-20-5; 14.

Donnie Fleeman – Born on July 12, 1937 in Midlothian, Texas, and died on March 1, aged 79. He lost on points over ten rounds when he fought Mike Holt at the Rand Stadium in Johannesburg on May 9, 1959. Record 35-12-1; 23.

Terry O’Connar – A British heavyweight who was born in Liverpool on February 25, 1927 and died on August 20, aged 85. He lost on points over four rounds to Jack Kukard at the Wembley Stadium in Johannesburg on August 6, 1949. Record 6-24-2; 4.

Terry Spinks – Born in London on February 28, 1938 and died on April 26, aged 74. Spinks was a British amateur champion in 1956 and won the flyweight gold medal at the 1956 Olympics. He later won the British featherweight title. Record 41-7-1; 13.

Andy Ganigan – Born in Waipahu in Hawaii on September 3, 1952 and died on May 2, aged 59. Ganigan was a southpaw who won the NABF lightweight title but lost to Alexis Arguello on a fifth-round knockout in a challenge for the WBC lightweight title in Las Vegas on May 22, 1982. Record 34- 5; 30.

Thangthong Kiattaweesuk – A former IBF Pan-Pacific bantamweight champion who was born in Bo Rai, Thailand, on August 13, 1978. He died at the age of 33 after a car crash on May 26. Record 24-0; 17.

Johnny Tapia – The 1983 Golden Gloves light-flyweight champion and 1985 flyweight champion later won the WBO super-flyweight and bantamweight, the IBF super-flyweight and featherweight and WBA bantamweight titles. John Lee Tapia was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico on February 13, 1967 and died on May 27, aged 45. Record 59-5-2; 30.

Larry Baker – Clarence Leroy Baker was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, on February 2, 1931 and died on May 28, aged 81. He was a welterweight who campaigned in England in 1960 and fought Tony Smith, Wally Swift, Jimmy McGrail, Fred Tiedt and Mick Leahy. Record 24-20; 11.

Enrique Bolanos – Born in Mexico on August 24, 1924 and died on June 4, aged 87. Bolanos was a lightweight contender who lost three times to Ike Williams in challenges for the world title. Record 79- 22-5; 44.

Jimmy Bivins – Regarded as one the best heavyweights never to win a world title, James Louis Bivins was born in Drybranch, Georgia, on December 6, 1919. He died on July 4, aged 92. He beat world champions such as Archie Moore, Ezzard Charles, Gus Lesnevich, Melio Bettina, Anton Christoforidis, Teddy Yarosz and Joey Maxim and went the distance with Joe Louis and Jersey Joe Walcott. Record 86- 25-1; 31.

Carmen Basilio – A former world welterweight and middleweight champion, Basilio is best remembered for his two world middleweight title fights against Sugar Ray Robinson in 1957 and 1958. Carmine Basilio was born in Canastota, New York, on April 2, 1927 and died on November 7, aged 85. Record 56-16-7; 27.

Wally Swift – He caused an upset when he outpointed South African Willie Toweel over ten rounds at the Ice Rink in Nottingham, England, on December 7, 1959. Swift was a British welterweight and middleweight champion. Born on August 10, 1936 in Nottingham, England, he died on November 10, aged 76. Record 68-17- 3; 13.

Johnny Prescott – He lost in a challenge for the British and Empire heavyweight titles to Henry Cooper when they met at the Birmingham City football ground on June 15, 1965. The former British Midlands Area heavyweight champion was born in Birmingham on August 20, 1938 and died on November 11, aged 74. Record 34-11- 1; 13.

Hector Camacho – One of the outstanding fighters of his generation, Hector Luis Camacho held the WBC superfeatherweight, lightweight and lightwelterweight and WBO light-welterweight titles. Born in Bayamon, Puerto Rico on May 24, 1962 he died on November 24, aged 50. A southpaw with a record of 96-4 as an amateur, he retired with a professional record of 79-6-3; 38.