By Ron Jackson
Chris Van Heerden makes the second defence of his South African welterweight title when he meets Boitshepo Mandwe at the Dr Malan School Hall in Meyerton on Friday night. Van Heerlen (12-0-1, 9 KOs), who fights from the southpaw stance, won the vacant African Boxing Union welterweight title in July last year when he stopped Hassan Sauk from Uganda in the eighth round. In December of the same year he made a successful defence of the ABU title and won the vacant South African welterweight title with an eleventh round technical knockout over Page Tshwane at Hammanskraal.
In March this year, in what was expected to be a tough match up, he beat Welcome Ntshingila on a comfortable points margin over 12 rounds to retain the SA title.
Mandwe from Meadowlands in Soweto has a reported record of 10 wins with eight inside the distance, scored an impressive second round knockout over the experienced Andrew Mathiya at Potchefstroom in February this year and his confident that he can stop the champion.
Van Heerden from Meyerton who is trained by Nick Durandt is a come forward fighter who has been in a few wars but has never looked like going down.
Both fighters are known for their power punches and this should be exciting brawl with the champion having the edge on experience.
The tournament will be staged by Knockout Promotions.