Praise from Barry McGuigan lifts Craig Easton

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Craigmillar boxer Jason Easton says it means the world to him to be complimented by former WBA featherweight champion and Cyclone Promotions boss Barry McGuigan.

The Celtic super-lightweight champion will make the first defence of his title next month against Hungarian Zoltan Szabo (14-4) at Meadowbank – the same evening compatriot and Commonwealth champion Josh Taylor tops the bill against Warren Joubert of South Africa.

The bout with Szabo on Friday, March 24, will be the third time 25-year-old Easton, who is managed by Billy Nelson, has fought under the McGuigan banner. His most emphatic display came just four months ago when he stopped Wales’ Rhys Saunders in the second round to win the Celtic belt.

“It’s really good to hear what Barry has had to say about me,” Easton said. “It means the world to me to have someone of his calibre say such positive things. He’s been really good with me, getting me on his shows and given me the exposure I need. The atmosphere is always brilliant at Meadowbank and I always get a good following so I can’t wait to go again next month. I’m really enjoying my boxing just now.”

Undefeated Easton (8-0) has been left idle since his last bout in October due to call offs but believes that will stand him in good stead for his battle with Szabo in five weeks’ time.

“It’s given me a longer training camp for this fight so I’m not too disappointed about the last two fights being called off,” Easton explained. “I feel I will be in a better shape for it. We’ve been asking for a while to step up in class and I feel in Zoltan we’ve got that. He’s been in against some of the best guys in Britain like O’Hara Davies and Robbie Davies Jnr but I feel like I’m ready for these type of fights and have a lot more to give.

“I don’t think people have seen the best of me yet so hopefully I can show that next month. I was slightly surprised by Rhys Saunders when he went down. I felt he would go longer so I don’t think I really had the chance to show what I can do.”