When Howard Eastman faces Bernard Hopkins on Feb. 19, it will not be for boxing's undisputed middleweight championship as had been previously reported.
After initially announcing the WBA, IBF, WBO and WBC titles would be at stake when Hopkins and Eastman meet, Eastman's promoter, Mick Hennessy, has made it known that only the WBC middleweight title will be up for grabs.
“We would like to apologise for this misunderstanding,” said Hennessy. “It was never our intention to mislead anybody.”
“Our understanding at the time of our announcement was that all the championships would be contested.”
“We have since learnt, however, that Bernard Hopkins is only prepared to stake the WBC title he has been mandated to defend.”
Eastman, known as the Battersea Bomber, will present an interesting challenge for Hopkins.
Though the Englishman is mostly an unknown quantity – despite a controversial points loss to William Joppy in 2001in a WBA title fight – on the other side of the Atlantic, he is regarded by many as a leading middleweight contender and a worthy challenger for Hopkins.