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I fought Tyson Fury, David Haye and got KO’d by Anthony Joshua but none of them punch harder than ‘The Sniper’

Wladimir Klitschko has been in with some powerful fighters, but none had heavier hands than South African hitter Corrie Sanders.

Now retired, 48-year-old Klitschko is considered one of the best heavyweights of all-time and, in his second stint as world champion, reigned unbeaten for ten years until Tyson Fury beat him in 2015.


Sanders hit Klitschko harder than anyone, says the UkrainianCredit: Getty

But in 2003, when he held the WBO heavyweight world title, he came up against Sanders, otherwise known as ‘The Sniper’, in Germany.

Sanders had Klitschko down twice in round one and after flooring him within the first thirty seconds of round two, the referee waved off the contest.

Klitschko has since admitted that Sanders hit him harder than any of the other opponents he faced in his 21-year professional career.

“He was very fast and he had really powerful hands,” Klitschko told The Ring in an interview in 2014, shortly after beating Kubrat Pulev and before facing Fury and Anthony Joshua.

“I’ve been in boxing for 25 years and I never fought anybody in this game that punched like Corrie Sanders.” 

This is despite the fact that Klitschko has shared the ring with some of the all-time heavy hitters, including David Haye, whom the Ukrainian beat by unanimous decision in 2011.

‘Hayemaker’ was unable to regularly close the gap to Klitschko, who was heavyweight champion at the time, and was largely dominated by the Ukrainian who controlled the exchanges.

Haye had success in the third, and pushed for a stoppage staggering his rival with a huge overhand right in the championship round, but Klitschko showed his traditional resilience.

Haye rocked Klitschko but failed to get the win


Haye rocked Klitschko but failed to get the winCredit: Getty

Towards the closing stages of his career, Klitschko then came up against Fury and lost by unanimous decision in 2015, during what was considered a huge upset at the time.

Fury produced a scintillating boxing masterclass on German soil, completely dominating the Ukrainian in stunning fashion to steal the unified heavyweight world titles.

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The pair looked set to meet in a rematch, but Fury’s battle with mental health issues saw him unable to entertain the immediate sequel.

And ‘Dr Steelhammer’ ate some thunderous punches from Joshua when they clashed in 2017 and Klitschko was knocked out in the eleventh round of a thrilling contest.

The heavyweight icon dropped Joshua to the canvas twice and looked to be closing in on a historic win at Wembley Stadium.

But AJ climbed to his feet and delivered a thunderous uppercut which changed the course of the contest, and rally to a historic stoppage in front of a raucous British crowd.

And Klitschko has been in with some of the biggest punchers in heavyweight history


And Klitschko has been in with some of the biggest punchers in heavyweight historyCredit: Getty

It saw the legend hang up his boxing gloves immediately afterwards, after 69 professional fights with 64 wins.

Since retiring, Klitschko was forced to take a step back from the sport and put himself into the war efforts in his country Ukraine’s conflict with Russia.

The champion fought alongside his fellow legend and brother Vitali Klitschko on the front line in Eastern Europe.

He has also supported the career of current undisputed heavyweight champion and native compatriot Oleksandr Usyk during his rise.

Klitschko attended Usyk’s win to make history and pick up all four belts in Saudi Arabia as he outpointed the legend’s former rival Fury.

Klitschko has supported Usyk during his meteoric rise


Klitschko has supported Usyk during his meteoric riseCredit: Top Rank

He saluted the two-division undisputed king following the fight, and even chatted to the champion in the ring after his astonishing achievement.

The 48-year-old said in his post-fight interview: “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.

“And it doesn’t matter how big, how tall, how heavy, what his reach is and how mobile Tyson Fury was, Oleksandr Usyk showed he is the best fighter in modern history.”

With a rematch in the works for December, he is likely to once again be ringside and cheer on a man now flying the flag for Ukraine.

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