By Ron Jackson
Unbeaten South African welterweight champion Chris van Heerden meets Venance Mponji from Tanzania in a ten round international welterweight fight tonight in Meyerton, South Africa.
Van Heerden (13-0-1, 9 KOs) who fights from the southpaw stance made his pro debut on September 6, 2006 when he stopped Lucky Mavimbela in two rounds.
He is a come forward fighter who tends to neglect his defence at times with the result that his fights invariably end up in wars.
In July 2008 van Heerden won the African Boxing Union title and in December of the same year won the vacant South African welterweight title with an eleventh round stoppage against Page Tshesane, who had previously held him to a six round draw.
In 2009 he has made successful defences of his SA title against Welcome Ntshingila and Boitshepo Mandwe, both going to points decisions.
Mponji who has a reported record of 15-12-2, 7 KOs, has been a professional since May 1997.
He has fought mainly as a lightweight in his hometown of Dar-Es-Salaam.
In his most recent fight in February this year Maponji stopped Manti Abuu in two rounds, but when he has come against better class opponents like Justin Juuko, Hassan Matumla and Samuel Kamau he has lost inside the distance.
The odds must favour van Heerden to win on a stoppage.
The tournament is presented by Alan Young of Knockout Promotions.