Howard Eastman


Howard Anthony Eastman (Born 8 December 1970 in New Amsterdam, Guyana) is a London, England-based Middleweight boxer nicknamed the Battersea Bomber, and currently promoted by Hennessy Sports.

Early years

Having spent time as a youth homeless, and later fought in the Gulf War in the Royal Fusiliers, Eastman turned pro in March 1994 with a first round knockout of John Rice. He garnered a reputation as a heavy puncher in the gyms of the UK, where he regularly sparred with Light Heavyweights and the likes of then-world champion Chris Eubank. However his career progressed slowly and at a low profile for many years as fellow British boxers were reluctant to face him.

He accumulated an 18-0 (16 knockouts) record before challenging Steve "The Viking" Foster in November 1998 for the British Middleweight title, which he won via 7th round knockout.

In September 2000 he won the Commonwealth Middleweight title by outpointing Australian-based Egyptian (and future #1 contender) Sam Soliman, and finally began receiving wider coverage.

World title challenger

In April 2001, having put together a 31-0 (28 knockouts) record, he got a high profile fight defending his British and Commonwealth titles and challenging for the vacant European title against Robert McCracken, a highly regarded British fighter who had unsuccessfully challenged Keith Holmes for the WBC world title the previous year.

Eastman dominated the fight and dropped McCracken, stopping him in the 10th round ( Following this success promoter Don King signed him up and in November 2001 he fought two-time champ William Joppy for the vacant WBA world title on a Lennox Lewis undercard in Las Vegas.

Eastman posed and played too much it was decided, as he narrowly lost a controversial ( majority decision despite knocking Joppy down in the final seconds of the twelfth round. After this fight Eastman sat out a year in Guyana and let his contract with King expire.

He resurfaced in late 2002 now under the Hennessy Sports promotional outfit and trained by ex-victim Robert McCracken, and scored two knockouts over Chardan Ansoula and Hussain Osman. He regained his European title in January 2003 against the French man Christophe Tendil, who he stopped in five rounds with a broken jaw (, and regained his British and Commonwealth titles by knocking out Scott Dann in three rounds. He defended the European title twice more, stopping ex-world champion Hacine Cherifi in eight rounds in July 2003 and outpointing Sergey Tatevoysan in January 2004.

Now with a 40-1 record and highly ranked by all sanctioning bodies, Eastman finally got the 39 year old undisputed Middleweight king Bernard Hopkins into the ring to defend his titles, in February 2005 in Los Angeles. Eastman was outsmarted and widely outpointed by Hopkins (110-119, 111-117, 112-116) who was making his historic 20th defence. Post fight there was initial talk of a rematch, however as the scores suggest the contest for not close enough for this to materialize. (

After the world title fights

Eastman travelled to Germany in July 2005 to fight a WBA eliminator against hard hitting Armenian Arthur Abraham, Eastman lost the fight on points however claimed he had been robbed of the decision.( Abraham would go on to win the vacant IBF world title after the unified middleweight title was fractured after Bernard Hopkins loss to Jermain Taylor.

In March 2006 he travelled to the US and took on another risky eliminator, this time for the IBF title, however was controversially stopped on his feet by the hard hitting undefeated Colombian Edison Miranda. Once more Eastman protested ( claiming that he should have been allowed to continue since he had not been down in the fight.

Reclaiming his belts

On December 15th 2006 he regained his British Middleweight title by knocking out Richard Williams in the 12th and final round in London, England. Eastman was well ahead on all scorecards at the time of stoppage.

In April 2007 Eastman added the Commonwealth belt to the British title with a 12 round points decision over the Kenyan Evans Ashira -who had recently challenged Joe Calzaghe in a Super-Middleweight title fight- in Dudley. The bout was scrappy as the scorecards suggested, Eastman prevailing 116-113, 116-112, 116-113.

In September 2007 Eastmans revival was ended. When defending his British title against domestic fighter Wayne Elcock Eastman was surprisingly outworked and outpunched, dropping a shock points defeat by margins of 113-116, 113-115, 114-115. Elcock had previously been beaten by Eastman-victim Scott Dann. Losing to Elcock proved all the more painful for Eastman, as Elcock was rewarded with a bout against former Eastman opponent and current IBF world titlelist Arthur Abraham, a rematch Eastman has long clamoured for (

Eastman was offered a final shot at contention, matched with popular Irish puncher John Duddy in Belfast. After a competitive 10 rounds, the 37 year old Eastman lost a unanimous decision, signalling the end of his career.

See also

External links

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