Rising Midvaal boxing star Van Heerden shows promise

Budding boxer Donjuan van Heerden is making steady inroads since he lost his maiden professional match in August 2018. 

By Bongani Magasela – Sowetanlive

The former six times SA amateur champion was stopped within four rounds by Simon Dladla but he bounced back more determined to win his next five fights on the trot, three via short-route.

https://2e31d7da9dfc6367bd0362d82c466744.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-40/html/container.html But there has been confusion about Van Heerden’s trainer. At one point former SA heavyweight champ Anton Nel manned his corner and the other Riaz Bhyat was barking instructions in the corner.

Now former pro boxer Sechaba Mabuya is in charge. Colleen McAusland has remained the boxer’s manager.

Van Heerden and Mabuya have been together in the boxer’s three previous wins. Their last was two weekends ago in Vryheid, where Starline Boxing Promotion’s owner Zandile Malinga staged a six-bout card at Cecil Emitt Hall in the remote areas of KwaZulu-Natal.

Van Heerden, 21, from Meyerton, Midvaal, should not read too much into the No 2 rating given to him by the committee responsible for that task because it is still too early for him to be in that position.

That spot will put him under unnecessary pressure because Van Heerden will be expected to keep winning in order to maintain the top spot. Sadly, that spot puts him in a situation where he must win his next fight to move up to the No 1 spot and challenge for the national title.

Interestingly, SA middleweight champ John Bopape makes a voluntary defence against Ayanda Mthembu in Ladysmith on Saturday. Van Heerden’s sixth-round KO win over Nsako Miyambo in Vryheid could take him to the No1 spot.

Mabuya acknowledges Van Heerden’s work ethic and skillset but he agrees that his charge is still a work in progress. Without making excuses, Mabuya said their preparations for Miyambo were not great. He said they were informed by McAusland that they were no longer welcomed to use the gym in Edenvale, on the East Rand, where Vusi Mtolo is the trainer.

“Colleen moved swiftly and found us a gym in Kibler Park she is hands-on as a manager,” said Mabuya in his parting shot before jetting off to Russia with Gift Bholo, who will be in action in Moscow on Saturday.

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