WBC bring Eastman-Hopkins nearer!

29.01.04 - Howard Eastman is only two fights away from Bernard Hopkins. This Friday (January 30th) at the Goresbrook Leisure Centre in Dagenham he defends his European middleweight title against talented Russian Sergey Tatevosyan. Next will be a clash against Italy’s Cristian Sanavia that will trigger a deadline. Bernard: the clock is ticking...

“The WBC have formally ordered a final eliminator between Howard and Cristian Sanavia,” explained Eastman’s promoter Mick Hennessy.

“They have set a date of February 16th for purse bids, although I am already in discussions with Sanavia’s representatives in Italy and the fight looks like it will take place in early April.

“I have been in regular contact with WBC president Jose Sulaiman and he has assured me that current champion Bernard Hopkins will be instructed to defend against the winner of that contest within 120 days.”

Hennessy continued: “Like Tatevosyan, Sanavia is useful and we are certainly not taking things for granted.

“Howard, however, is out there on his own in Europe and now has the incentive of challenging for the world middleweight title.

“I have every faith that he will continue his fine form to line up what will be one of the biggest fights in the history of British Boxing against Bernard Hopkins.

“The only danger might be that Hopkins opts to vacate, but he has said that he wants to make twenty defences of his titles at middleweight.

“Let’s see if he means it or instead opts for an easier route in the face of a challenge from a talented mandatory contender like Eastman.”

It has certainly not been for the want of trying that Hopkins nine month long number one contender hasn’t already enticed him into the ring.

A poster (copy attached) campaign was launched across American web sites and in boxing magazines in the face of Hopkins deliberate denial of Eastman’s existence last year, only for the Philadelphian to continue calling the name of easier opponents.

“It wouldn’t take for someone to put out a wanted poster of me to get me in the ring,” said Eastman.

“I wouldn’t forget something like that, especially if the one doing the wanting was my only genuine contender.

“I suspect that Hopkins prefers to pick his jobs.

“I think he is looking to be in the comfort zone. Maybe he thinks I have got his number.

"Well I have. I am the only middleweight in the world who can beat him.”

Article posted on 29.01.2004

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