Van Heerden to fight McCalla in US TV debut on January 9

The charismatic 27 year-old recently celebrated the one-year anniversary since his Stateside move from South Africa in December 2013 as the former IBO champion chases his own American dream.

Part one of that plan was fulfilled when Van Heerden scored two victories in his first two contests earlier in 2014, although injury meant his maiden TV appearance had to be delayed. Van Heerden then linked up with renowned boxing trainer Freddie Roach following sparring camps with Miguel Cotto and Canelo Alvarez and is now in prime position for a run at a world title shot in 2015.

“I am very excited to be fighting on January 9 at Madison Square Garden in New York for the IBF International title against Cecil McCalla,” Van Heerden exclusively told World Boxing News.

“McCalla is unbeaten at 20-0 and the fight will be the co-main event live on Fox Sports 1. This is my third fight in the USA, and as former IBO World Champion to now be moving into other boxing bodies like the IBF, plus having Freddie Roach in my corner is very motivating and a dream come true for me.

“I want to win this belt and go home for a few weeks and show it to my family and friends what I have been able to achieve since leaving home.

“McCalla isn’t a walk in a park for me though and this is the most important fight of my career up to date. A win will pave my path forward in 2015,” he added.

‘The Heat’ has been beaten just once in his career in what was a highly-controversial points defeat to Nikola Stevanovic in Serbian-native’s backyard and took place at the light-middleweight limit.

Fighting at 147lbs Van Heerden is so far beaten every fighter he has ever faced and could put himself within touching distance of a lucrative fight with IBF title holder Kell Brook with an eye-catching victory next month.

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