Van Heerden reflects on first year in America, eyes Rios and Vargas in 2015
Former IBO light-welterweight champion Chris Van Heerden is expecting a bumper New Year as the talented South African heads towards his first anniversary since moving to the US.
The 27 year-old dropped everything to make a bold move across the Atlantic in December 2013 and went on to win his first two contests until an injury ruled him out of dream first televised bout on Showtime.
Since then, ‘The Heat’ has hooked up with renowned trainer Freddie Roach after impressing in a sparring camp against Miguel Cotto and Van Heerden is now ready to break out into the mainstream.
“I feel even though I have only had two fights this year in America I still think I have achieved a lot,” Van Heerden told World Boxing News.
“If you look at it, the way I won my two fights and produced two victories before having the respected honor to be called up to work with Miguel Cotto for five weeks. Being his main sparring partner in prep for his great win over Sergio Martinez was great experience, and then to be asked to assist Canelo Alvarez straight after also for five weeks to help him for his clash against Lara was great for me.
“Obviously, the low point after that was that I badly injured my foot and my scheduled fight on ShoBox TV was cancelled. Even though that was disappointing, it only led to a dream come true meeting up with Freddie Roach and he was happy to agree to be my new trainer.
“Freddie has promised me that I will be a legitimate world champion in the years to come and now I have also joined a new management team at Check6 Management with Donna Avery so 2015 promises to be a bright year. Check6 and KingSports Promotion are planning to have me fighting only in televised Bouts and my new team are already in full force with PR work to take my career to new heights.”
Van Heerden, whose record reads 21-1-1 since he defeated Cosme Rivera and Ray Narh Stateside, is eyeing a busy time in the coming months and revealed to WBN that Roach already has some opponents in mind for his fighter to aim for.
“I hope to be successful in securing a big fight on HBO, Showtime or any big TV network so my family and friends back in South Africa can see me fight,” said Van Heerden.
“Ideally, I would love to fight at least 4-5 times and the great news is we are very close to securing a TV fight in early January already.
“I would love to be up against the big names in my division and I know Freddie has some fights in mind for me. The likes of Brandon Rios and Jessie Vargas later in 2015 would be fights to aim for and with my new management team at Check6 and KingSports Promotion behind me I know it can happen,” he added.