World ranked welterweight contender CHRIS “The Heat” VAN HEERDEN, fresh off his highly successful New York City debut has arrived this past weekend in Los Angeles to open camp at the Wild Card Boxing Gym under the tutelage of renowned trainer FREDDIE ROACH.
On January 9, at “The Mecca of Boxing”, Madison Square Garden, Van Heerden improved to 20-1-1 (11KO’s) with a dominant ten round decision over Cecil McCalla earning the IBF International Welterweight Title.
Calling from his native Johannesburg, South Africa last week, the 27-year-old Van Heerden was anxious to return to Southern California.
“It’s been terrific to see family and friends here but coming off my last win I’m excited to see what’s next and get back in the gym with Freddie,” said the southpaw. “This was my first time home in thirteen months.”
Recruited by Los Angeles’s based promoters KING SPORTS, Van Heerden relocated to Southern California the day after Christmas in 2013 and went right to work.
Fighting for the first time in the United States and with Roach in his corner, Van Heerden stopped battle tested Mexican veteran Cosme Rivera on February 6, 2014 in Hollywood, California.
Just two months later Van Heerden followed up with a ten round decision over perennial contender Ray Narh in Santa Monica on April 16.
“Working with Freddie I’ve truly seen a major improvement, I feel like a different fighter,” said Van Heerden. “Right from the beginning I knew relocating to the United States was the perfect move. New trainer, new promotional group and its all worked out well.”
“We were confident in Chris’ skill level but these last three fights have clearly displayed those of a future world champion,” said MICHAEL KING of KING SPORTS.
“He had high quality wins in the past over Matthew Hatton for the IBO Title and against Kaizer Mabuza back in South Africa.”
“This week we’ll get together as a team and prepare our next course.”
Continued Van Heerden, “I’m ready to go, I’ve won the fights I should. I’ve spent dozens of rounds sparring with Miguel Cotto and Canelo Alvarez and held my own. I want to be a world champion and I’m prepared to make the sacrifices and put in the work to make it happen. “