Eastman to face Ashira


Eastman to face Ashira

PRESS RELEASE: Howard Eastman continues the process of regaining his triple crown when he faces Evans Ashira for the vacant Commonwealth Middleweight Title at the Dudley Concert Hall on Friday April 20th live on Sky Sports.


Former British, Commonwealth and European champion Eastman relinquished his championships in order to challenge then undisputed champion Bernard Hopkins in 2005.


Two world title eliminators followed, before he regained the domestic crown by knocking out old friend and fellow Londoner Richard Williams in December.


Former two-times world title challenger Ashira, now based in Denmark but from Kenya, is another major step back towards the top level.


Ashira took Welshman Joe Calzaghe to points for the WBO Super-Middleweight Crown in 2005 and a year earlier lost a bid for the WBA Middleweight Title against big puncher Maselino Masoe.


“It’s good to be continuing the rebuilding process and to be boxing again for another title so quickly,” said the ‘Battersea Bomber.’ “If I can get the Commonwealth title back around my waist, it will be another step towards another world title fight.


“I belong at that level and when I am fully prepared I can beat anyone. It is still very much my intention to win a genuine world title.


“At the moment I’m focussed on Ashira. He’s a top-class operator in his natural division and I will have to be at my best.”


Eastman’s promoter Mick Hennessy agrees that Ashira will bring a stiff challenge, but one that can lead to bigger things if overcome.


“Ashira is without doubt a fringe world class operator at middleweight,” said the Hennessy Sports head. “He was never big enough for 12 stone; super middleweight just wasn’t his division.”


“At this weight he is a real handful. This is an excellent standard of fight for a Commonwealth Title. It’s a tough opponent for Howard to win another of his old titles back against, but one he can use to spring himself back into contention for bigger honours.”


Eastman will be supported on the bill by Hennessy Sports team-mate Billy Corcoran and a host of local favourites, with Dean Hickman, Dean Harrison, Sam Horton, Paul Truscott, Kevin Buckley, Martin Gordon and Steve and Martin Gethin all in action.