Boxing: Eastman moves closer to world title bid

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The Independent Online

Howard Eastman will defend his European middleweight title for the third time against Spaniard Jorge Sendra in Dagenham on January 30.

Eastman is working towards a challenge to undisputed world champion Bernard Hopkins, for whom the Battersea man is the top-ranked WBC contender.

Eastman's promoter Mick Hennessy said: "We are working to secure Howard his entitlement as the WBC's number one contender to Hopkins.

"I am in regular contact with WBC president Jose Sulaiman and seeking assurances that the appropriate action will be taken.

"Hopkins has not made a mandatory defence for nine months now and although the situation is not entirely clear concerning his obligations towards his other titles, Howard's time is drawing near."

Sendra is the reigning Spanish champion and has stopped 20 of his 25 opponents.