Corrie Sanders, who beat Wladimir Klitschko in 2003 to win the WBO world heavyweight title, died Sunday morning after being shot during a robbery Saturday night at a restaurant in South Africa's North West province, multiple media outlets reported.
Sanders was 46.
Sanders, a South African, was shot while attending a family member's 21st birthday. There are conflicting reports about whether the family member was his daughter or his nephew.
"In the midst of the celebrations, at about 7:45 p.m. in the evening, about three suspects came in," West Police Brigadier Thulani Ngubane told Press Association Sport. "They were planning to commit an armed robbery. Then in the armed robbery they shot randomly. Corrie was shot in the hand and also the stomach. They fled with a digital camera and also a handbag of one of the people who was in the restaurant."
Sanders was taken to a hospital, where he died.
Sanders had a professional boxing record of 42-4, with 31 knockout victories.
Sanders' most significant bout came nine years ago when, as a 40-to-1 underdog, he stopped Klitschko in the second round of their world title fight.
Sanders was stripped of the WBO title when he declined to fight Klitschko in a rematch.
Instead, Sanders fought Wladimir's brother, Vitali, in 2004 for the vacant WBC title.
Sanders lost that bout when he was stopped in the eighth round.
He made his professional debut in 1989 and had his last fight in 2008, when Osborne Machimana knocked him out in the first round.