South Africa boxing legend, Lehlohonolo Ledwaba better known to his legions of fans as “Hands of Stone”, has died three weeks before his 50th birthday.
The former world champion died on Friday.
Sowetan LIVE is reporting that “Covid-19 claimed the precious life of SA’s old-time boxing great champion Lehlohonolo ‘Hands of Stone’ Ledwaba”
South Africa is in the grip of a ferocious third wave driven by the more deadly Delta virus.
In the latest daily count released Friday South Africa recorded 24 270 new Covid-19 cases.
A further 303 Covid-19 related deaths were recorded in that time, bringing total fatalities to 61 332 since the pandemic hit South Africa’s shores.
In his heydays Hands of Stone packed a punch that flattened many of his opponents at home and abroad.
He even stopped the very tough Colombian pugilist Ernesto Grey, who had given another SA boxing legend Vuyani Bungu a tough lesson.
Hands of Stone later defeated Bungu to win the WBU featherweight.
Ledwaba fought in two epic battles against Cassius Baloyi for the IBO junior lightweight weight belt with mixed results. Owing to eye problems Hands of Stone retired in 2006.
The five-time World IBF Super Bantamweight champion was eventually dethroned by boxing great Manny Pacquiao on a TKO.
He finished his career with a respectable record of 36 wins, 6 losses, and 1 draw. Among his wins, 23 of them were by knockout.
Social media was awash with praises for the fallen legend.
Top sportscaster Robert Marawa, who recently survived Covid-19 after five days in intensive care, tweeted: “A true boxing LEGEND is no more … Still trying to digest the news of the passing of Lehlohonolo “Hands of Stone” Ledwaba (49) … he once defended his IBF Super Bantamweight title five times before losing it to Manny Pacquiao on a TKO. Hamba Kahle CHAMP!!”