Manny Pacquiao pays tribute as breakthrough foe Lehlo Ledwaba, 49, dies

July third, 2021

Lehlo Ledwaba Manny Pacquiao

HBO

Just a little-known Manny Pacquiao stepped in at late discover in 2001 to face reigning IBF super-bantamweight champion Lehlo Ledwaba. That night time was historic.

Pacquaio scored a sixth-round stoppage in a breakthrough victory that sparked an unbelievable record-breaking affinity with Las Vegas and the US.

Ledwaba, who fought solely seven instances after the defeat, shedding 4 instances, was at all times credited with paving the best way for an important.

WBN is gloomy to study this weekend that Ledwaba handed away on the tender age of 49. His premature demise is as a result of present Covid-19 virus sweeping the world.

Manny Pacquiao tribute

Ever humble and grateful, Pacquiao didn’t hesitate to pay tribute to his ex-opponent even in triumph.

“So unhappy to listen to of the passing of Lehlo Ledwaba,” mentioned the “Pacman.”

“He was a real champion out and in of the ring and left behind an incredible legacy. RIP champ!”

Full title Lehlohonolo, Ledwaba died in hospital on Friday in his native South Africa. He made 5 profitable defenses of the IBF strap he finally handed on to Manny Pacquiao.

Lehlo Ledwaba profession

Turning professional in 1990, Ledwaba suffered an early draw earlier than a loss in his first three years on the paid circuit. It wasn’t till 1996 that he would make his mark on the game.

Dealing with South African super-bantamweight champion Vuyisile Tinga at Don Mateman Corridor in Johannesburg, Ledwaba blasted out the ruler in lower than one spherical.

A fringe world title victory adopted for “Palms of Stone” earlier than three extra defenses of the SA belt. In 1998, and having fun with a five-year profitable streak, an inevitable IBF eliminator got here calling.

Going up towards Arnel Barotillo, Ledwaba gained on factors and bided his time for a shot on the coveted crimson belt.

In 1999, Ledwaba acquired pitted towards John Michael Johnson for the vacant strap, profitable one other resolution on house soil.

An American debut got here subsequent because the champ noticed Edison Valencia Diaz earlier than back-to-back wins in the UK stored him rolling properly.

Ernesto Gray and Eduardo Enrique Alvarez have been each taken care of by way of eight-round stoppages.

Ledwaba then headed again to South Africa to beat Arnel Barotillo and Carlos Contreras in acquainted environment. He was now one of the vital revered champions at 126 kilos.

Lehlo Ledwaba Manny Pacquiao

The world’s boxing capital was subsequent as Ledwaba acquired booked for the well-known MGM Grand in a pure development.

Preventing on the undercard of Oscar De La Hoya vs. Javier Castillejo, Ledwaba was attributable to meet Enrique Sanchez within the co-feature.

When Sanchez pulled out two weeks earlier than the occasion, organizers drafted in Manny Pacquiao. The remainder is historical past.

However Pacquiao doesn’t outline the carer of the person. Lehlo Ledwaba was a stable champion and can eternally stay a South African legend.

Phil Jay is the Editor of WBN. An Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Affiliation of America since 2018. And a member of the Sports activities Journalists’ Affiliation. Comply with on Twitter @PhilJWBN.


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