The arrests were made of the three suspected gunmen deemed responsible for the death of former WBO heavyweight titleholder Corrie Sanders, the talented South African southpaw whose second-round knockout of Wladimir Klitschko was among the sport’s major upsets in 2003.
The men, of Zimbabwean descent, are expected to appear in the Brits Magistrate’s Court on Monday, according to a report by Nantes Kelder, the head of the Civil rights organization AfriForum’s investigating unit.
Sanders, 46, died early Sunday in Pretoria, South Africa, after being shot by robbers at a restaurant during a robbery gone bad at a family member’s 21st birthday party.
Police Brigadier Thulani Ngubane said that Sanders was killed as a result of three armed men entering the venue Saturday night in Brits, in South Africa’s North West province, with the apparent intention to robbing it.
WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO SAYS LOSS TO SANDERS ‘MADE ME TOUGHER’
Sanders was stopped in the eighth round of his very next fight against Vitali Klitschko at The Staples Center in Los Angeles in April of 2004. Another highlight for Sanders was a brawl with ex-titleholder Hasim Rahman, to whom he lost by seventh-round stoppage in May of 2000.
“Actually, I appreciate him more because he made me the boxer that I am today. The loss against him changed a side of my character tremendously, it made me tougher and it made me better,” said Wladimir Klitschko, in an interview with Eyewitness News in Germany.
“Without my experience with Corrie, I wouldn’t be the same way. Before and after the Corrie Sanders fight, nobody beat me the way he did. The boxing world will remember Corrie as a heavy hitter and a good man. I have nothing bad to say about Corrie at all.”
MIKE TYSON GAINS ENTRY TO NEW ZEALAND
Tyson, whose speaking tour aims to cover New Zealand and Australia, served three years of a six-year sentence after being convicted of rape in 1992.
“Mike Tyson, youngest ever world heavy weight boxing champion and star of The Hangover movies, has been granted a visa to visit New Zealand,” read a statement from publicity promotions on behalf of Tyson, who will speak at Mike Tyson’s Day of the Champions on November 15 at Auckland’s Vector Arena.
JASON ESCALERA SAYS EDWIN RODRIGUEZ ‘BETTER THINK AGAIN’
Jason Escalera (13-0-1, 12 knockouts), of Hoboken, N.J., says that he will have a surprise for rival Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez (21-0, 14 KOs), of Worchester, Mass., when they meet in Saturday night’s Lou DiBella-promoted HBO Boxing After Dark triple-header at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods, in Mashantucket, Conn.
Although Rodriguez is coming off an impressive unanimous decision over hard-hitting Donovan “The Bomb” George George (23-2-1, 20 KOs) in March, Escalera insists that he poses a much stiffer challenge.
“I had a very good camp for this fight and I feel great. I am already on weight, and I am really looking forward to Saturday night. I know that some people feel that I might be in over my head, but I can assure everyone that this fight is coming at the perfect time. I have been hearing things out of Edwin and his camp that he is going to put on a show, he is going to stop me and that Donovan George hits harder than I do,” said Escalera.
“If he truthfully believes that, then he is going to be in for a big surprise on Saturday night. First off, I hit much harder then Donovan does, and I can assure you that he will find that out in the very first round. Also, I have never been down in my entire career. Not in the gym, not in the amateurs and not in the pros. That being said, there is no shot that Edwin can knock me out. If he thinks he is in for an easy night on Saturday, then he better think again.”
Also on the card is junior featherweight Luis Del Valle (16-0, 11 KOs) against former title-holder Vic Darchinyan (37-5-1, 27 KOs), as well as a clash between welterweights Antonin Decarie (26-1, 7 KOs) and Alex Perez (16-0, 9 KOs).
Billed as “Road To Glory,” the event is being promoted by DiBella, Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing and Gary Shaw Productions.
MANNY PACQUIAO-JUAN MANUEL MARQUEZ IV TICKETS ON SALE
Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38 knockouts) and Marquez (54-6-1, 39 KOs) will meet for a fourth time at The MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Marquez lost by disputed majority decision in November to Pacquiao, with whom he has also battled to a draw and lost by split-decision previously.
Pacquiao has chosen to face Marquez over a return bout with Tim Bradley (29-0, 12 KOs), whose controversial split decision in June dethroned Pacquiao as the WBO’s 147-pound titleholder and ended his 15-bout winning streak that included eight stoppages.
Tickets are priced at $1,200, $900, $600, $400, and $200. Ticket sales are at $1,200, $900, $600 and $400, being limited to 10 per person. Sales at $200 are limited to two per person.
To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster (800) 745-3000. Tickets also are available for purchase at www.mgmgrand.com or www.ticketmaster.com.
The event is being promoted by Top Rank in association with MP Promotions, Zanfer Promotions, Márquez Boxing, Tecate and MGM Grand Hotel and Casino.
EUDY BERNARDO-JOSE GONZALEZ IN CLASH OF UNBEATENS
A clash of unbeaten lightweights on Oct. 6 will feature Eudy “AK 47” Bernardo (13-0, 8 KOs), of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in hostile territory against Jose Gonzalez (20-0, 15 KOs), of Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, at Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez, Bayamon, Puerto Rico.
“I know when I step in the ring with Jose Gonzalez it’s going to be a war,” said Bernardo. “He’s fighting in his homeland and he’s going to do everything in his power to please his fans,” said Bernardo of a fight being promoted by PR Best Boxing Promotions in association with Boxing 360.
“He’s coming off a couple of knockouts so I expect him to be aggressive in this fight. I’m in great shape and will be prepared for anything Gonzalez brings to the ring. I don’t expect this fight to go the distance.”
Gonzalez has never fought outside of his native land of Puerto Rico, and will have the hometown crowd on his side.
“This is the type of fight that makes boxing the greatest sport on the planet. When two young hungry undefeated fighters are scheduled to face each other, it’s the fans that benefit the most. Eudy Bernardo is a special fighter who brings nothing but excitement to the ring and this fight will prove he’s a blue chip prospect,” said Mario Yagobi of Boxing 360, who promotes Bernardo.
“There is no doubt about it if Bernardo comes out victorious, he’ll be considered one of the best young prospects in boxing. I know Gonzalez is going to do everything he can to win this fight, but I anticipate a hard fought victory for my fighter, Eudy Bernardo.”
Photo by Stuart Franklin, Getty Images
Photo by Ed Diller, DiBella Entertainment/Star Boxing
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com