Jason Easton couldn’t quite believe the crowd in front of him when he weighed in ahead of the first defence of his IBO Inter-Continental super lightweight title at the Royal Highland Centre tonight.
The former Craigmillar amateur, who is the chief support to Josh Taylor’s 12-rounder against Mexico’s former IBF world lightweight supremo Miguel Vazquez, will box Czech undefeated champion Josef Zahradnik, also over 12 rounds.
Easton, however, was delighted at the amount of supporters who had come along to see the boxers weigh in at Prestonpans Community Centre yesterday, the East Lothian town where WBC Silver super lightweight belt holder Taylor grew up.
Hundreds rushed through the doors to catch a glimpse of the boxers, the noise cranked up a notch each time as Easton and then Taylor stepped on to the scales.
“Josh deserves all the attention he’s getting but I got some cheer when I came out too,” Easton said. “It was absolutely amazing to see so many people there for just a weigh in – imagine what it will be like when 4,000 people are in the arena tonight! It would be great if I could do something similar back in Craigmillar Hall or the Jack Kane Centre one day, that would be amazing.”
Easton registered his biggest scalp so far when he stopped Belgium’s Steve Jamoye at Braehead Arena in July in the ninth round. However, the 26-year-old wasn’t entirely satisfied with his performance.
“I started far too slow against Jamoye and got caught a couple of times. I was getting involved too much but, from that fight in July up until now, I feel like a completely different boxer,” Easton said. “I’ve been sparring guys like Anthony Crolla and have been out in Norway training, doing hundreds of rounds, so I’m more than ready for this guy.
“He’s technically better than Jamoye. He’s fit and seems in good shape so he’ll give me the rounds. I think he is going to be a hard cookie to crack but I feel great and am really confident.”
Meanwhile, bantamweight Lee McGregor can’t wait to make his professional debut on live television.
The 20-year-old’s four-round duel with Bulgaria’s Stefan Sashov will be broadcast exclusively live on Spike TV before the coverage switches to Channel 5 for the main event.
McGregor, the reigning British and Scottish 56kg amateur champion, is hoping to show those inside the arena at a home that he is the real deal.
“I’ve had a good name from my amateur days but this tonight is a different stage altogether and a whole new level,” he said. “I can wait to get in under those lights and perform to thousands and thousands of people.
“I want to make statements and make the rest of the bantamweights in Britain stand up and take notice. I know they’ll not fear me but they might see that I’m one to avoid so early in my career. I can’t wait to get in there and show the public what I’m capable of.
“I was a lot bigger than him [Sashov], height-wise, but he’s come in a lot heavier than me. That just shows you the hard work I’ve put in the gym these past six or seven weeks. I’ve disciplined myself and I want to be professional about my job. This is the first time I’ve managed to go to bed with a full stomach and stay hydrated too.”
Elsewhere, Haddington’s undefeated middleweight Iain Trotter, goes in search of his sixth pro-victory against Leopold Krzeszewski of Poland.