Former IBO welterweight champion Chris Van Heerden will aim to continue his American dream on Wednesday night when the South African battles Mexican Ramon Ayala at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California.
The 27 year-old had been scheduled to face Briton Frankie Gavin this past weekend in Birmingham, England, although the fight was cancelled when the ex-European title challenger earned himself a world title shot at IBF belt holder Kell Brook on May 30.
That left Van Heerden high and dry and in danger of a wasted training camp, until promoters King Sports hastily arranged a fourth bout on US soil for ‘The Heat’ since his move Stateside in December 2013. The fight will be part of a fundraising event for the Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation.
Since making the switch from his native land, Van Heerden has defeated Cosme Rivera, Ray Narh and more recently Cecil McCalla, and currently goes through his daily routine at the Wild Card Gym under the tutelage of world-renowned trainer Freddie Roach.
Van Heerden’s clash with Ayala will certainly be seen as a stop-gap to bigger things as the 147lb contender eyes a US TV network debut in the near future, but the talented fighter can ill-afford any slip-ups against Ayala, 26.
‘Nino De Oro’ has been out of action since losing to Omar Figueroa at lightweight way back in 2012 and makes his debut at seventeen pound higher limit in an attempt to re-launch his career.