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Bungu remembers fight with Ledwaba 20 years on

Beast reveals brotherly bond between rivals

SA legendary boxer Vuyani Bungu.
SA legendary boxer Vuyani Bungu.
Image: Vuyani Bungu/Facebook

Vuyani “The Beast” Bungu – SA’s most accomplished boxer – is disappointed that Lehlohonolo “Hands of Stone” Ledwaba cannot share his views about their fight for the vacant WBU featherweight title in Brakpan.

Promoter Rodney Berman staged that contest at Carnival City in Brakpan today July 27 2002.

Bungu had been inactive for almost a year after he failed to win the WBO title from “Prince” Naseen Hamed.

“As much as I am an old man now, I still remember the fight against Ledwaba,” said the 55-year-old former IBF junior featherweight world champion yesterday.

“But honestly, I could not believe my ears when I received a call informing me about a fight against Ledwaba. We had a strong brotherhood that some people were not aware of.  Yes, I am from Mdantsane [Eastern Cape] and he was from Soweto.

“When I was advised to vacate the IBF title I did not have issues because I had been informed that Ledwaba was to fight for it. I was at ringside shouting instructions to him when he won it in 1999.”

Ledwaba lost it in his sixth defence to Manny Pacquiao in 2001. He then met Bungu the following year and defeated him to win his third world title in his third weight division.

“When I watched Ledwaba fight I always talked about his fitness and readiness to fight; guess what? ... he said the same thing about me. Stone was my role model, so was I to him. Look, we had to hype out our fight,  which is the way to sell a boxing match. But I am telling you now it was not an easy fight for both of us due to our comradeship.”

Bungu is relieved that he will be part of the unveiling of Ledwaba’s tombstone on Saturday. He will also attend the tournament promoter Joyce Kungwane will stage at Dlamini Multi-Purpose Hall in Soweto on Sunday to honour Ledwaba.

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