Boxing: Eastman targets tough Sendra test to line up shot at title

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The Independent Online

A victory over the Spanish contender Jorge Sendra will make Howard Eastman's claims for a shot at the world middleweight title all but irresistible, according to the Battersea Bomber's promoter, Mick Hennessy.

Eastman, 32, the British and European middleweight champion, has occupied the WBC mandatory contender position for six months and intends to take on the winner of December's showdown between the undisputed champion, Bernard Hopkins, and William Joppy, the only fighter to have beaten Eastman after a contentious points decision for the WBA title in 2001.

With the stakes so high, Hennessy said Eastman's European title defence against Sendra on 28 November had taken on extra significance. "An opponent of Sendra's calibre will help keep him sharp," Hennessy said. "This fight will ensure that when Howard's opportunity does come along next year, he will take it."