EXCLUSIVE: Chris Van Heerden seals ‘dream’ move to Top Rank
Chris Van Heerden has signed a promotional deal with Top Rank, World Boxing News have exclusively been informed.
Details of the announcement will be made public today at noon (ET). They will outline the South African former International Boxing Organization champion’s link-up with renowned boxing figure Bob Arum.
Van Heerden, 31, has based himself in the United States since 2013. A leap of faith after relinquishing the IBO welterweight strap on the back of a two-year reign.
‘The Heat’ has lost just once in top company during his career despite currently holding at 26-2-1 record. A 2010 reverse via split decision was highly contentious and controversial in Belgrade. Whilst Van Heerden’s only other defeat came against pound for pound star Errol Spence Jr.
Stepping where most fear to tread, Van Heerden has racked up three victories since the Spence fight dented his C.V in 2015. Most recently, Timo Schwarzkopf became Van Heerden’s 26th triumph via a decision.
Huge welcome to welterweight Chris van Heerden to the Top Rank family! pic.twitter.com/ljMljloZPq
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) November 21, 2018
A move to Top Rank has been something of a foregone conclusion for Van Heerden since forming a strong bond with manager Peter Kahn.
Over a year ago, and when Van Heerden was rated in the top 15 in the WBA, IBF and WBA, conversations took place between Kahn and Top Rank. At the time, both were on board regarding a potential fight with Manny Pacquiao in South Africa.
Pacquiao had to come through Jeff Horn first, although shocking scorecards in Brisbane meant Van Heerden was left disappointed.
Back on the path to a world title, Van Heerden will now be in the mix to face the likes of Terence Crawford, Egidijus Kavaliauskas, Mike Alvarado, Jose Benavidez Jr. and even Horn himself.
Ultimately, a dinner meeting between Kahn and Arum in El Paso a couple of weeks ago manifested into the latest addition to the Top Rank roster. Which follows the capture of Vijender Singh, Vikas Krishan and world champion Rob Brant this week alone.
Speaking regarding the move, Van Heerden was delighted to ink with such a huge company in the sport of boxing.
“Sometimes it takes ten years for that one year to come around that turns your dream into a reality,” Van Heerden exclusively told World Boxing News.
“Signing with Top Rank is a childhood dream finally achieved. To be with Top Rank is the reason I left South Africa four years ago.”
Manager Peter Kahn was equally as pleased.
“Chris Van Heerden signing with Top Rank will provide him with the path to accomplish his goal of winning another world title,” Kahn exclusively told World Boxing News.
“As the former IBO welterweight champion, Chris is a highly underestimated welterweight that many fighters have made a point of avoiding over the past few years.
“Joining Top Rank will allow Chris to be in the mix to earn his shot at challenging for a world title once again. Earning his spot amongst the best welterweights in the world,” he concluded.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay