Ledwaba passes on knowledge

Lehlohonolo Ledwaba helps IBF champion Zolani Tete prepare for the defence of his junior bantamweight belt against Paul Butler in the UK in 2015. /Veli Nhlapo
Lehlohonolo Ledwaba helps IBF champion Zolani Tete prepare for the defence of his junior bantamweight belt against Paul Butler in the UK in 2015. /Veli Nhlapo

Retired former multiple world boxing champion Lehlohonolo "Hands of Stone" Ledwaba aspires to become one of the top trainers in the country.

The celebrated boxer, who lost his IBF junior featherweight belt to Filipino Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao in Last Vegas in 2001, said he would stop at nothing in achieving that goal.

Ledwaba, who retired prematurely in 2006 due to an eye problem, started training boxers in 2008.

He has just guided Tshifhiwa "Timer" Munyai to becoming the Limpopo junior welterweight champion. Munyai beat Thembani Hobyane on points in Thohoyandou last month.

"Hopefully, this year my young boxer Kagiso Morwane will be busy," said Ledwaba, who produced his first champion in 2009 when Tshepang Mohale won the SA super middleweight title from Kgotso Motau.

"I have just been joined by Cleutus Mbele. My ambition is to develop and pass the knowledge that I acquired in the ring to the new generation. I know what boxing can do to a human being's life, especially the underprivileged.

"I acquired a lot through this sport," said the soft-spoken man from White City, Soweto.

"If that can happen to me, it simply means it can also happen to the next person."

Ledwaba chalked up 36 wins from 43 bouts. His gym is next to Morris Isaacson High School in White City.

"The challenge is that promoters pick and choose trainers to work with. I doff my hat to promoters like Phathutshedzo Dongola, Nzhelele Women Sports, Manny Fernandez and TK Promotions who gave my boxers action last year," said the 46-year-old trainer. "Hopefully things will be much better this year, more so when we have our own promotion which will keep our boxers active."

Ledwaba, Dingaan Thobela and Jan Bergman launched their own promotion company - TLB Promotion - last year.

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