Chris Van Heerden missed out on his dream of fighting in the United Kingdom on May 9 of this year as his agreed clash was called off due to opponent Frankie Gavin gaining a world title shot.
Gavin was pitched in with talented and undefeated IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook on May 30 instead of meeting Van Heerden and was duly dispatched by ‘The Special One’ in six painful and one-sided rounds.
At the time, 28 year-old Van Heerden was heartbroken at the decision by Gavin to pull out of the fight, although UK promoter Eddie Hearn stated that he would ‘make it up to him’ in the near future – which could mean another offer is on the way.
‘The Heat’ is hopeful that Hearn may decide to pick up the phone and offer Van Heerden a full shot at Brook as the current IBF International title holder is sure he could have put up a better fight with the Sheffield man than his supposed opponent.
“I respect Kell Brook as he is the champion, but with me now being number eight in the IBF ratings, I’m ever closer to getting that big world title fight. In fact, I’m just one phone call away if Brook and Hearn want the fight,” Van Heerden exclusively told World Boxing News.
“I feel a fight between myself and Brook can be Massive in the UK and I am so confident that I will put up a better performance than Frankie Gavin. I know I’ll give the fans their money’s worth with twelve great rounds, as all respect to Gavin, he’s a 140lbs sensation and not really a welterweight.”
Van Heerden has history with the British fans following his points win over Matthew Hatton in March 2013, in which the South African successfully defended his IBO title on home soil. The fight was also broadcast on BoxNation in the UK and Van Heerden has kept a close eye on results across the Atlantic since moving to America later that same year.
“Over the years, I’ve built a good support base and had plenty of respect from a large section of the UK fans after beating a tough Mathew Hatton,” he pointed out. “Also there is a large group of South Africans living in the UK at this time and they would be ready to support me should that UK dream come true.
“I know that if Hearn promotes a fight with Brook like the mastermind he is, then this fight between two IBF belt holders will be huge and pack any arena with British and South Africans fight fans. I was ever so close to fighting in UK in front of the passionate people over there and it will continue to be a dream of mine until it happens.
“It’s every fighter’s dream to fight for a world title and I’ve worked my way to the front line by firstly winning the IBO championship and now winning fights in the US to pick up a belt with the IBF.
“As the IBF International title is the first title I won since moving over here, I want to fight for the full version, so let’s do it champ! Come on Kell Brook – give me the shot I deserve!”