The 26 year-old shook off the ring rust with a dominant performance that had ringside doctors ending the fight after Rivera took three full rounds of punishment from Van Heerden, who prolonged his winning streak.
‘The Heat’ has now won his last six bouts since losing a highly controversial decision in Serbia against home fighter Nikola Stevanovic, which still remains Van Heerden’s solitary loss in 22 outings.
Van Heerden is now expected to step up his opposition as he continues his Stateside run, with fights against the bigger names in the welterweight division a priority for the talented southpaw.
Also on the bill at the Florentine Gardens in Hollywood, California, Vyacheslav Shabransky scored a seventh round knockout over Lamont Williams as the Ukrainian improved to 7-0 with his sixth career stoppage.
Liverpool fighter John Quigley also made an appearance on the card and the Briton had way too much skill for Alejandro Ochoa to push his record to 11-0 following a six-round points win 59-55 on all three cards.
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