Despite recent reports to the contrary and plenty of speculation, Chris Van Heerden is not currently in the running to face Amir Khan on April 21, WBN have been informed.
Soon after Khan announced his intention to sign with arch-rival Kell Brook’s promoter Eddie Hearn earlier this month, South African Van Heerden seemed like the perfect fit for a spring clash in Liverpool.
‘The Heat’ was rumored to be ‘on the shortlist’ for Hearn and Khan to consider for the Bolton man’s comeback from a lengthy absence, although Van Heerden’s manager Peter Kahn stated this was never officially the case.
“Per the speculation regarding Chris Van Heerden fighting Amir Khan, according to my conversations with Eddie Hearn, Chris has never been in the conversation or on the shortlist of opponents,” Kahn exclusively told World Boxing News on Friday.
“To be exact, Eddie sent me a message last week saying that Virgil Hunter is picking the opponent and that Van Heerden wasn’t even in his trainer’s thoughts.
“Of course Van Heerden wasn’t on the list as there’s no way Amir Khan wants anything to do with Chris Van Heerden. Khan will have been inactive for almost two years by the time he steps in the ring in April.
“Personally, I think it’s great he’s coming back to fight, but if I were his promoter or trainer, I wouldn’t want to fight Van Heerden either because it’s a guaranteed loss for Khan, even in his own backyard.”
On his continued frustrations at finding the right opposition for Van Heerden after a blank 2017, Kahn believes the former IBO welterweight champion is widely avoided by the bigger name contenders and champions.
“Look, it’s no secret that fighters avoid Van Heerden. He’s a crafty southpaw that’s always in your face. He has two losses on his record, one, a split division in Serbia to a Serbian eight years ago (you can do the math on that one) and the other only true loss to an extremely talented Errol Spence Jr.
“So, nothing to be ashamed of there. Basically, his only career loss is the best welterweight on the planet.
“It’s funny how when guys don’t want to fight someone, they simply just don’t ever speak his name or they blame their promoter, manager or trainer.
“Not to mention if you watched the Spence fight last week, Van Heerden went eight rounds and arguably was more competitive than both Brook and Lamont Peterson.
“Chris is one of the most underrated welterweights in boxing, and for this reason, Amir Khan doesn’t want back to back losses on his record.
“Believe me. I offered Eddie for Chris to travel to Liverpool but it looks as though that won’t be taken up,” said Kahn.
In the most recent development, another former Spence victim, Phil Lo Greco told WBN he’d been made an official offer to move back down to 147 pounds for the Khan fight but was waiting for an improved contract to be confirmed by Hearn.
For Van Heerden, the wait continues for a match-up he can firmly sink his teeth into…
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay