Boxing: Eastman in search of elusive recognition

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After five fights in less than an year for the BBC, Howard Eastman is still looking for the recognition he feels he deserves.

Eastman defends his European middleweight title for the second time against the Frenchman Hassine Cherifi at the Norwich Sports Village tonight, but it is another low-key fight in a career that for a variety of reasons has not quite taken off.

The only defeat on Eastman's record was in 2001 when he went to Las Vegas and fought William Joppy for the vacant World Boxing Association middleweight title. Joppy won by a majority decision, but he had to climb off the canvas in round 12 and Eastman was unfortunate not to return to south London with the belt.

After that fight Eastman was out for 11 months before returning and putting together five good wins. However, another world title fight has so far eluded the 32-year-old and it will be interesting to see what he does after tonight's fight.

Cherifi held the World Boxing Council middleweight title five years ago and has faced plenty of quality fighters. In recent years he has lost to Harry Simon and Felix Trinidad, both of whom are recognised as top boxers, but since then he has put together two wins in French title fights and is capable of extending Eastman, who often fights at one pace.