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Gauteng champ gears up ahead of action-packed tourney

With a ranking of number two in the country, Donjuan van Heerden has high hopes ahead of his next fight.

Provincial middleweight champ, Donjuan van Heerden, will soon be back in the ring to take on Fhulufhelo Ramalliba in a non-title bout at the Kibler Park Recreation Centre on June 22.

After making an international debut in the previous year, Van Heerden ‘The Iron Dragon’ is adamant about being dubbed South African champion and more.

The boxing titleholder, who was named Boxing SA 2023 prospect of the year, has constantly kept the momentum going since.

He will be going up against Ramalliba in a six-round super middleweight fight.

“Training has been going well. In the previous months, I have been through ups and downs, but I’m becoming a better warrior. And to become such a warrior, you have to go through hell, hardships and experiences that are hard to imagine. The act of surviving those moments determines how you become better,” Van Heerden said.

Currently ranked number two in South Africa and 170 in the world ratings, he said, “The return is imminent. I am bettering my world ratings with each fight. I will beat this guy and go ahead to take the South African title before the end of this year,” he explained.

According to boxing manager Colleen McAusland, Van Heerden can face any opponent and can adapt to any fighting style.

Gauteng champ Donjuan van Heerden with his prestigious award. Photo: Colleen McAusland

“His ring degree of intelligence is phenomenal, he can box and he can fight. He is ready to get back in the ring. It’s a keep-busy fight for him as he is preparing to fight in July, and he will be the main fight, fighting for two titles,” she explained.

McAusland described herself as a manager who is very hands-on with her boxers and that they are like her children.

“We spend a lot of time together; it’s not only about boxing. My heart is to change their lives for the better, boxing is just a bonus, and their well-being is very important to me.

“I saw the need for a house as many boxers stay in poor conditions. Jack our coach, who won trainer of the year, joined us from Eastern Cape. He stays in the house with the boxers, and he’s not only a coach but a father figure to the boxers. We have a unique dynamic, we are family,” she said.

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