Nick Gordon
1 minute read
6 Feb 2014
6:00 am

Chris ready to turn up the heat

Nick Gordon

It's been 11 months since Chris van Heerden stepped under the bright lights of a boxing ring, but that changes when he goes into battle in his debut on American soil today.

FILE PICTURE: Chris van Heerden during the Blockbuster Boxing Tournament press conference at Emperors Palace on July 19, 2011 in Pretoria, South Africa

The southpaw took the bold decision to relocate to Los Angeles towards the end of last year in an effort to expand his career options and he will find out whether it was the right call when he meets Cosme Rivera in a 10-rounder at the famed Florentine Gardens in Hollywood. 

The Mexican appears to be a tricky customer for Van Heerden to face and will definitely have experience on his side having fought 56 times, but at the age of 37 he is more than likely considered a gatekeeper.

Rivera has an impressive CV that includes names like Andre Berto, Alfredo Angulo, up and comer Lee Purdy and a failed crack at world championship level when knocked out by Zab Judah in 2005.

Van Heerden is looking forward to getting back into the ring and admits that he is hungry to get the victory and hopefully win over fans in the often tough-to-crack American market.

“I’ve settled in really well and I’ve had some great sparring in the gym and I love it. I don’t know much about Rivera other than he’s been around a really long time and that he fought Zab Judah,” Van Heerden said yesterday.

“I want to get the W and look good, that’s what my team wants from me,” he added.

Van Heerden will step into the fray with a professional record of 19 wins, one draw and a solitary loss in a 21-fight career that has seen him annex the South African welterweight, African Boxing Union strap and the IBO world championship crowns.

A new chapter begins for “The Heat” today, one that could be the start of an epic journey into the upper echelons of world boxing.