Simeon Hardy signs to fight Howard ‘Battersea Bomber’ Eastman in sternest career test
Guyana’s perspective representative at the World Boxing Council (WBC) 50th Anniversary celebrations tournament, Simeon ‘Candyman’ Hardy, will take on the biggest challenge of his life after he agreed to fight former European middleweight champion and world rater, Howard ‘Battersea Bomber’ Eastman in a 10 rounds non title scrap scheduled for June 1 at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall (CASH).
The deal was brokered late Friday afternoon after former Trinidad based Guyanese pugilist, Shawn Corbin, failed to iron out some legal prerequisites with his management team and was forced out of the fight with local light/heavyweight champion, Kwesi ‘Lightening Struck Assassin’ Jones for the former pugilist’s title.
Hardy was called to duty after former Caribbean Boxing Federation (CABOFE) light/heavyweight champion, Shawn Corbin, originally matched against Kwesi ‘Lightening Struck Assassin’ Jones, informed the organizers that because of new developments beyond his control, he was unable to keep his ring date.
Former secretary of the Guyana Boxing Board of Control (GBBC), Trevor Arno said that the organizers were briefed of Corbin’s plight and immediately got down to repair the situation. He said that he regrets that Jones, who has been inactive ever since his devastating knockout over Cleveland Fraser, will be disappointed by the turn of events. Nevertheless, Arno envisages a keen contest where it will be difficult to choose a winner just yet.
Indeed Eastman, who has had quite a few epic encounters in the international arena, may feel he holds the edge against a fighter who, even though he is unbeaten, is yet to be truly tested. While ‘The Battersea Bomber’ has ruled the roost in Europe and has had epic battles against former world champions Bernard ‘Executioner’ Hopkins and William Joppy, he has slid somewhat and has surrendered victories to Edmond DeClou and Kwesi Jones among others. Maybe these loses have convinced Hardy that he could defeat him.
Hardy’s claim to fame started with a record breaking 20secs knockout victory over Patrick Boston and since then has put away most of his opponents with veteran boxer, Troy Lewis, the only man to last the distance.
In his last fight, Hardy won from Mark Austin but even then, Austin’s style had posed a few problems and Hardy was unable to put him away in the early rounds as he had promised. The ‘Candyman’ was, however, able to eventually remove Austin in the later rounds to preserve his reputation as a knockout artist.
However, the man of the ‘Chin checker’ fame will discover that Eastman is made of sterner stuff and he (Hardy) will have to dig very deep to come up with a victory. Whichever way the fight goes, fight fans could be assured of a memorable, no retreat, no surrender duel that will leave unforgettable memories.
Otherwise, three other professional bouts should excite boxing buffs starting with the jnr/welterweight, 4 rounds scrap between Rudolph Fraser and Cassius Matthews. Berbician light/heavyweight contender, Kelsie George will be up against James Walcott, also over 4 rounds, while Trinidad based Guyanese pugilist, Iwan Azore, will match gloves with World Boxing Council CABOFE bantamweight titlist, Barbadian, Miguel Antoine over 6 rounds.
Activities get underway at 20:00hrs sharp and admission price remains at $1000 for adults and $500 for children. Friday Night Fights is an initiative of the GBBC in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, the Guyana Amateur Boxing Association (GABA) and National Communications Network (NCN).