Welterweight prospect and former IBO world champion Chris Van Heerden has informed WBN that he is to be trained by renowned trainer Freddie Roach as he plots his return to action.
The 27 year-old was forced to cancel his US TV debut last week on ShoBox after suffering an injury to his foot in training, but now has the consolation of working with Roach as the South African seeks out a high-profile clash Stateside.
Van Heerden moved to America in December 2013 in a bid to raise his profile and had already enjoyed spells sparring with Canelo Alvarez and Miguel Cotto in preparation for their own impressive victories in 2014.
‘The Heat’ has registered two victories himself since embarking on his new journey that have pushed his record to an impressive 21-1-1, and with Roach now on board putting him through his paces day in and day out, Van Heerden believes the sky is the limit.
“It’s a dream come true for me to be trained by the great Freddie Roach,” Van Heerden exclusively told World Boxing News on Wednesday.
“I come from a small town in Meyerton and could only have dreamed that this day would happen, but now it’s reality. I feel like I am now beginning to break into the elite after my sparring with Canelo and Miguel Cotto – to now being trained by the man himself, Freddie Roach.
“I want to cry with joy as I know that Freddie will bring out the best in me and can take me to the next level. I am so excited about this new chapter in my life and I want to give a massive thank you to the team behind me at King Sports Promotions and also Mr. Michael King.
“I am truly blessed by God and I am sure he has a plan for me and my career,” he added.
Roach has been named Trainer of the Year on five occasions in the past and can boast multiple world title wins with the likes of Manny Pacquiao, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr and Ruslan Provodnikov to name a few.
The Wild Card coach recently guided Cotto to the most impressive victory of his career as the Puerto Rican put Sergio Martinez on the canvas numerous times on the way to becoming WBC middleweight champion and a four-weight king in the process.
Overseeing those sessions in which Van Heerden pushed Cotto into the shape of his life obviously had an effect on Roach, who has decided to make the likeable fighter a more permanent fixture at his world famous gym in LA.
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