Former undisputed world heavyweight king Mike Tyson paid a visit to the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles this week and liked what he saw in Freddie Roach’s new welterweight contender Chris Van Heerden.
Van Heerden, 27, has been working vigorously with five-time Trainer of the Year Roach after he agreed to train the South African and Tyson was on hand to encourage the ex-IBO title holder as he was put through his paces.
“Seeing Mike Tyson in the gym was amazing whilst I was sparring and hearing him next to the ring giving some instructions. Mike was shouting ‘Come on South-Africa, rip that body,’ ‘Yes, that’s it jab, jab, jab’ and ‘You’re tough South Africa that’s it, think,” Van Heerden revealed to World Boxing News.
“I loved it. I get very motivated everyday just working with Freddie Roach as he is an amazing the man, and to have Mike Tyson there too was inspiring to me.”
‘The Heat’ is all set to have his next fight scheduled as he moves up the 147 ladder since arriving in the US last December. Van Heerden was in line to make his TV debut in the last few weeks, but suffered a leg injury and was forced to pull out of the fight.
Since then, the likeable fighter has linked up with Roach, whom he had worked with in sparring Miguel Cotto for his fight with Sergio Martinez, permanently and is still coming to terms with his the development of his new partnership.
“Freddie is clever and gives me the motivation to do better and to train harder,” said Van Heerden. “I just want to give it my all. I’m not the best, but I can entertain and I can fight. It’s time I will erupt and entertained the American fans. I believe in myself and I give all the glory to God in Jesus name for blessing me everyday to do what I love.
“It won’t long until I am up their with the top fighters in the division and this will give me a chance to fulfil my dreams. I do this all for my family and friends in South Africa who want to see me in a big fight here in America and I pray that my time will come as I love giving the fans a show.
“Sparring with Cotto and Canelo in the last three months and now being with Freddie Roach has given me the confidence to fight anybody and I am now looking at the likes of Mike Alvarado, Brandon Rios and Amir Khan for future fights,” he said.
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