“Chris has shown the ability to persevere through adversity throughout his entire career,” said Holyfield. “With his world-class skills and a champions attitude, I look forward to working with him on the right opportunities to become a world champion.”
“I’m very happy to be working with boxing legend Evander Holyfield and the great team at Real Deal Boxing,” said Van Heerden. “Evander is a true inspiration to me and I’m very confident they can provide me with the everything I need to become a world champion.”
“We’re thrilled to sign Chris and to be working with him and his team on the next steps in his career,” said Bentley. “We feel he’s one of the top welterweights in the world and are anxious to get started on the next chapter of his career.”
Based in Southern California, Van Heerden, originally from South Africa, trains at the Wild Card West Boxing Gym in Santa Monica under the tutelage of JULIAN CHUA. He is guided by the team of veteran boxing manager PETER KAHN along with actor FRANK GRILLO and producer/director JOE CARNAHAN.
“Chris Van Heerden is one of the most underrated and avoided welterweights in boxing, it’s as simple as that.” said Kahn. “While Chris was world rated last year, half of the division’s top ten turned down fights against him and opponents priced themselves out of fighting him, leading to his inactivity. His relentless pressure, southpaw stance, rugged style and a granite chin is what makes him such a contender.”
“Just as Jeff Horn was ready to accept Chris as his first optional defense, Chris was removed from the world ratings due to inactivity. It was time for Chris to align himself with a promoter and Evander Holyfield and the team at Real Deal Sports & Entertainment was a no-brainer. We are thrilled to be a part of this team as we map out the path to a world title.”
Stated Carnahan, “I consider Chris one of the great unheralded welterweights of this era. His only true loss was against arguably the best welterweight in the world, Errol Spence Jr. He’s a tough matchup for any top five fighter and impossible match-up for anyone outside of those elite names.”
Continued Grillo, “The Heat is grossly underrated and poses a genuine threat to any welterweight out there. Chris showed he belongs amongst the elite in his weight class with his fight against Spence.”
Most recently Van Heerden won the WBA Pan African Title with a dominant 12-round decision over Sacky Shikukutu on October 22, 2016 in Kempton Park, South Africa.
Full details of Van Heerden’s first bout under the Real Deal Boxing’s banner will be announced shortly.