Van Heerden ready to give up IBO belt as new American chapter begins
Welterweight Chris Van Heerden arrived in the US earlier in the week as the South African readies himself for a fresh start under experienced trainer Manny Garcia in Los Angeles.
The 26 year-old, who had a brief spell with Gary Hyde in the summer, is confident the move with pay-off after admitting that he must drop his IBO title in favour of living the American dream in the future.
Van Heerden has witnessed his career stall since a career-best victory over Matthew Hatton last March and hopes to kick-start a new title run on pastures new.
“I have touched down in Santa Monica, Los Angeles to start a new chapter in my boxing career,” Van Heerden told World Boxing News.
“I’m starting to train on Monday with Manny Garcia and I will be back in the ring real soon. I am looking to have a few warm-up fights before fighting some of the big names and I could return as early as the first week of February.
“I will be appearing on different promotions, but I’m more motivated than ever before and aim to make noise over here in the US.”
‘The Heat’ was reluctant to give up his belt initially after being told by previous manager Hyde that the move would be better for his career in the long-term, although Van Heerden has finally come around to the idea.
“I am still IBO champion right now, but I will vacate it soon in order to go for the bigger belts in the US,” he explained.
If all goes well with Manny Garcia, there is a possibility that Van Heerden could then move on to Oxnard to train with renowned coach Robert Garcia where he would then rub shoulders with the likes of Marcos Maidana and Nonito Donaire.
“My team is very close to Robert Garcia and in time if we need to make the move as the bigger fights come around we will look into getting some input from Robert. He knows about me, but right now I am with Manny,” added Van Heerden.
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