Government has joined South Africans and the boxing fraternity in paying their last respects to the late boxing legend and community builder, Lehlogonolo Ledwaba.
Also popularly known as “Hands of Stone”, Ledwaba passed away on Friday (July 2) reportedly due to COVID-19 complications.
He started his professional boxing career back in 1990 in Eldorado Park.
Lehlogonolo was an accomplished professional boxer, who became IBF World Super Bantamweight Champion, when he dethroned John Michael Johnson in 1999.
He surrendered his title in 2001 to the highly regarded Hall of Fame, Manny Pacquiao, having defended it five times.
Those who knew Lehlogonolo remember him as a modest and humble father and husband, who made his services available to boxing as trainer and manager, after his retirement, in 2006.
In paying tribute to Lehlogonolo, Sports Minister Mthethwa said:
“On behalf of the Department, I wish to join the nation, the boxing fraternity and the Ledwaba family in mourning the untimely death of yet another role model in South African Sport”.
We will remember Lehlogonolo as one of those heroes who selflessly shared their talent with the rest of the nation.
MMC pays homage to local hero
City of Johannesburg’s Member of the Mayoral Council for Community Development, Margret Arnolds also extended her heartfelt condolences to the Ledwaba family.
“Ledwaba often trained at Borolo Butt Hut, one of the City’s facilities in Soweto. His achievements inspired throngs of disadvantaged youth to take up boxing as a professional sport. The sporting fraternity still had so much to learn from the likes of Ledwaba,” she said.
MMC Arnolds also said Ledwaba’s passing is a great loss considering that he was due to celebrate his 50th birthday later this month.