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Vladimir Klitschko Reflects on the Hardest Puncher of His Career

Vladimir Klitschko 'The Sniper' Corrie Sanders Hardest Puncher

Vladimir Klitschko, now retired at 48, has faced some of the most formidable fighters in boxing. Yet, he claims that none hit harder than South African boxer Corrie Sanders, known as ‘The Sniper.’

Klitschko, considered one of the greatest heavyweights of all time, reigned unbeaten for ten years during his second stint as world champion until Tyson Fury defeated him in 2015. However, in 2003, when Klitschko held the WBO heavyweight title, Sanders delivered a shocking upset in Germany.

Sanders floored Klitschko twice in the first round and once more within the first thirty seconds of the second round, leading the referee to stop the fight. Klitschko later admitted that Sanders’ punches were the hardest he had ever faced in his 21-year professional career.

“He was very fast and he had really powerful hands,” Klitschko told The Ring in a 2014 interview. “I’ve been in boxing for 25 years and I never fought anybody in this game that punched like Corrie Sanders.”

This admission is significant given that Klitschko faced some of the sport’s hardest hitters, including David Haye. In 2011, Klitschko defeated Haye by unanimous decision, dominating the fight despite Haye’s attempts to land his powerful punches.

Towards the end of his career, Klitschko lost to Tyson Fury in 2015 in a match considered a major upset. Fury’s superior boxing skills earned him a unanimous decision victory and the unified heavyweight titles. Although a rematch was planned, Fury’s mental health struggles prevented it from happening.

In 2017, Klitschko faced Anthony Joshua in a thrilling contest at Wembley Stadium. Despite dropping Joshua twice and nearly securing a victory, Klitschko was eventually knocked out in the eleventh round by a powerful uppercut from Joshua. This fight marked the end of Klitschko’s illustrious career, leaving him with a record of 64 wins out of 69 professional fights.

Since retiring, Klitschko has been involved in Ukraine’s conflict with Russia, fighting alongside his brother, Vitali Klitschko. He has also supported the career of fellow Ukrainian boxer Oleksandr Usyk, attending his historic victory over Tyson Fury in Saudi Arabia, where Usyk became the undisputed heavyweight champion.

After Usyk’s win, Klitschko praised him, stating, “This historic win is not just important for Oleksandr Usyk. Can you imagine how much pressure this man had these past weeks and here in this ring? Definitely, losing was not an option. He showed once that he was great as a cruiserweight, but even more surprisingly for a lot of people at heavyweight.”

With a rematch between Usyk and Fury expected in December, Klitschko will likely be ringside, supporting Usyk as he continues to represent Ukraine on the global stage.

Credit: TalkSport

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