It’s been a turbulent 12 months for Edinburgh boxer Jason Easton.
A former two-belt champion, the 27-year-old was motoring up the super-lightweight rankings at lightning pace.
However, the first loss of his career to Glenn Foot in March, a relationship break-up, and having his boxing licence revoked after being convicted of a street assault, brought the former Craigmillar amateur’s career crashing to a halt.
However, it seems there’s light at the end of the tunnel after some positive dialogue with the British Boxing Board of Control giving Easton the assurances he will be free to resume his career in 2019 – upon completion of his community service order.
“It’s been confirmed that once I’ve completed my hours then the Board will lift my suspension,” Easton told the Evening News.
“I was given 250 hours community service (for an assault in Market Street in the summer of 2017), which I started in September and am now down to 170, so hopefully it won’t be too long into next year that I’m back in the ring. I’m feeling a lot more positive and I’m now back in the gym every day. I’ve missed it so much.
“I regret so much what happened and I’m sorry to the person I punched. It was such a stupid mistake.
“It’s maybe made me a better person as I’ve stopped drinking and am now focused solely on boxing. It’s made me step back and take stock of things. I’ve finished my anger management course too, which has helped enormously so I feel I am a better person.”
The former Celtic and IBO Inter-Continental champion revealed that he has also severed ties with former coach Kenny McCartney and is now working alongside Gary Young at Leith Victoria. He believes a change of scenery will do him the world of good as he plots his comeback.
“I’ve made a change because I felt I’d lost that excitement of being surrounded by the same people and that’s nothing against Craigmilliar Boxing Club because it changed my life,” Easton explained.
“It’s my second home. I still love it and I’ll miss it. But I was finding it hard to be motivated and I was making excuses to miss sessions. That tells you something’s not right. I love Kenny like a dad so it’s been really tough.
“This year has been the hardest of my life. It’s just been one thing after another. I was finding myself going back to my dad’s where I’ve been staying and just breaking down all the time. I felt I’d lost everything. I’ve hit rock bottom but I know the only way is up and I’ve had a lot of support from people in boxing.
“Cyclone Promotions have been brilliant and they fully support me. They’ve said there are still opportunities for me when I come back. My manager Billy Nelson has also been working hard behind the scenes too.”
Easton continued: “There was a lot that happened after I lost to Glenn Foot. The doctors said that if my CT scan didn’t come back right then I would have to give up boxing. They thought I might have had a chronic subdural hematoma (bleeding on the brain) but everything came back clear.
“In the lead-up to that fight everything was just wrong. My head was in a s**t place. I was a stone over the weight just a week before and I’m never like that. I wasn’t focused. I was also in court for the assault in the lead-up to the fight. I was never going to pull out because it was a Commonwealth title fight. But the better man won on the night.
“It breaks my heart watching the likes of Lee (McGregor) and Josh (Taylor) on TV because I’m not there too. But I know I made a mistake and I have to accept the punishment.
“I’m still ranked tenth in Britain so I just need that platform to get back to where I was.”