JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African police have arrested three suspects for the murder of former world heavyweight boxing champion Cornelius "Corrie" Sanders, who died on Sunday after being shot by armed robbers who burst into his nephew's 21st birthday party.

The suspects - all Zimbabwean citizens - are due to appear before magistrates in Brits, 80 km (50 miles) northwest of Johannesburg, on Monday on charges of murder and armed robbery.

"The police confiscated a cellular phone, vehicle key, purse and cash that were allegedly robbed during the robbery and belong to the victims," police said in a statement.

Sanders, 46, was shot in the arm and the stomach when robbers raided a restaurant near Brits, in North West Province, where he and other family members were attending the party.

He was rushed to hospital but died from his wounds in the early hours of Sunday.

Sanders, nicknamed "The Sniper" because of his fierce left-hand punch, won the World Boxing Organization heavyweight title in 2003 with a surprise knockout of Ukraine's Wladimir Klitschko. He lost only four of his 46 professional fights.

(Reporting by Tshepo Tshabalala; Editing by Ed Cropley and Pravin Char)


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