High hopes Van Heerden will claim IBO Continental belt in France
Gauteng middleweight champion Donjuan "The Iron Dragon" van Heerden whose consistency earned him Boxing SA's 2023 Prospect of the Year award early this year will return home on Sunday with the IBO Continental belt wrapped around his waist.
That message of hope was issued yesterday by the boxer's manager Colleen McAusland who said 22-year-old Van Heerden from Meyerton will leave for France tonight with this year's Trainer of the Year award winner Khangelani Jack and John Tshabalala. McAusland will remain behind.
Van Heerden will oppose Frenchman Ismael "Issou" Seck for the vacant IBO Continental belt in France on Saturday. Seck, 34, has had 20 fights with 11 wins, seven losses and two draws.
"This will be the first time for Donjuan to travel outside South Africa as a professional fighter; he went to Denmark as an amateur but that does not worry us," McAusland said, adding that her charge's opponent is much taller than Van Heerden.
"That, too, does not bother us; we have a good game plan. He had a hectic camp of about eight weeks; he had good sparring and is ready for the fight; I do believe that we will win by a stoppage and return on Sunday with the belt."
Van Heerden, the younger brother of US-based former SA and IBO welterweight champion Chris "The Heat" van Heerden, has won eight of his nine fights.
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