The judges scored the fight 118-110, 117-112 and 116-112 in the defending titlist’s favour, with the South African dictating the fight from the beginning.
Hatton hit his opponent with a couple of late blows as he bloodied the 25-year-old, but it was always going to be too little, too late for the Englishman.
The Johannesburg crowd began to fear a late shock, but Van Heerden kept his nerve to close out the win as he landed a number of late blows .
Hatton has now failed to win in all three of his world title fights, with Van Heerden retaining his belt in relatively comfortable fashion.
- Sports & Recreation