by Francisco Salazar
Welterweight Chris Van Heerden will now be trained by Freddie Roach, Van Heerden told Boxingscene.com on Wednesday afternoon.
Originally from South Africa, Van Heerden (21-1-1, 11 KOs) has continued his success in the ring this year, only he now lives and trains in Southern California.
In his last bout on April 16, Van Heerden won a hard-fought 10 round split decision victory over Ray Narh in Santa Monica, Calif. With the victory, he has now won his last seven bouts in a row.
Van Heerden served as a sparring partner of Miguel Cotto and Saul "Canelo" Alvarez in the last couple of months. It was during these sparring session with Cotto that Van Heerden reportedly said Roach saw something in the southpaw fighter.
When I worked with (Miguel) Cotto in camp, Freddie gave me one look and told me I could be something special," said Van Heerden. "It's a dream come true. (Freddie) Roach will bring out the best in me. I'm excited."
From January up until recently, Van Heerden worked with Southern California-trainer Manuel Robles at the Rock Gym in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson.
Van Heerden was scheduled to fight Cecil Macalla on July 25 in Verona, N.Y., but had to pull out of the fight about a week before the fight due to an ankle injury suffered in training camp.
No exact date on when Van Heerden could return to the ring, but word is he could be fighting in late September. Van Heerden is promoted by King Sports Worldwide.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. He also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper, RingTV, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing