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Boxing: Howard Eastman

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posted on Jul, 24 2003 @ 02:07 PM
Howard Eastman will continue to press his claims for a second world title crack when he defends his European middleweight title at Norwich Sports Village on Friday night.

The 32-year-old's attempts to return to the top level have met with frustration since his controversial defeat to William Joppy in a WBA title fight in November 2001.

But an impressive display against French veteran and former WBC champion Hacine Cherifi on Friday will make his claims much harder to ignore.

Eastman's promoter Mick Hennessy said: "Howard has already demonstrated against opponents on this side of the pond that he is arguably the world's best middleweight.

"His closest rivals over here have been dismantled in ruthless fashion and I am sure it will not be long before Howard is also doing that to American opposition."

Like most top-rated fighters around the middle and super-middle categories, Eastman is seeking the ultimate prize of a showdown with undisputed champion Bernard Hopkins.

Attempts to raise his profile with a mouthwatering clash with WBO 12 stone champion Joe Calzaghe fell through, as did an offer to meet the big-punching former European light-middle champion Wayne Alexander.

Eastman has not allowed the setbacks to frustrate him and has been one of Britain's busiest fighters this year.

But in taking just 10 rounds to dispatch his last three opponents he has proved little that boxing men did not already know.

A stoppage win over the durable 35-year-old Cherifi - who also holds a points loss to Joppy - would give Eastman a bonus not achieved by the likes of Cherifi's previous foes Joppy, Harry Simon or Robin Reid.

And Hennessy is sure it would mark him out as the undisputed danger man of the division.

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