Title win is just the start, says city boxer Jason Easton

Jason Easton stopped Rhys Saunders at Meadowbank last month.  Pic: Ian Rutherford
Jason Easton stopped Rhys Saunders at Meadowbank last month. Pic: Ian Rutherford
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New Celtic super-lightweight champion Jason Easton says he will need to hone his writing skills in wake of last month’s triumph at Meadowbank.

The Craigmillar fighter made it eight consecutive wins in the paid rinks with a second-round stoppage of Welshman Rhys Saunders at the Capital venue on October 21 – top of the bill and compatriot Josh Taylor also stopping Derby’s Dave Ryan in the fifth round to secure the vacant Commonwealth super-lightweight belt.

And, after his fine showing, Easton has found himself in demand from a new legion of fans vying for his signature.

Easton was one of several boxers to lend their support at last weekend’s Mike Towell fundraiser at manager Billy Nelson’s Airdrie-based gym. Dundee boxer Towell died in September having suffered a severe bleed on the brain during a British title-eliminator with Dale Evans at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow.

“It was good to be able to give something back to a great cause and something that is all very close to our hearts,” said 25-year-old Easton. “I was sitting alongside the likes of Ricky Burns, Alex Arthur, Rocky Fielding and Terry Flanagan so I was signing gloves and getting photos taken. It was insane. There were a lot of people there. But my signature is definitely not as good as the rest of them – it’s quite plain so I’ll need to practise!

“Even when I’ve just been out and about walking the streets people have been coming up and congratulating me. It feels a bit surreal but it’s been great.”

Easton certainly had Meadowbank in full swing by the time Taylor made his entrance into the arena as Saunders couldn’t live with the power and precision of the Scot, who impressed in front of the live TV cameras.

“It was great to have the chance to box on TV,” said Easton of the live Channel 5 event. “But the support inside the hall was simply incredible. The first time I fought as a pro (September 2015) I sold 172 tickets, so I topped that again with over 200 this time. It was amazing. Obviously, all Josh Taylor’s fans were cheering me on too so the atmosphere was unbelievable. It definitely gives you a big boost.

“It was by far the best event I’ve fought on. Cyclone Promotions really know how to put on a show. The standard of boxing was great as a lot of the other ones you see nowadays can be a complete mismatch when it comes to pairing opponents together. I got the chance to see Josh’s fight and I thought he was excellent. It was just a brilliant night for boxing.”

Easton, however, feels he had much more in the tank and was left slightly frustrated that Saunders, who had stepped in just a week prior to the fight following the withdrawal of Cardiff’s Mitch Buckland, didn’t afford him more time to showcase his talent.

“We’d been training very hard for Mitch Buckland (11-0) and I felt very confident I could do a job against him,” he explained. “I do reckon it would have been a harder fight than Rhys Saunders as I think he’s a better and more all-rounded boxer.

“I think it was my best performance in my eight pro fights I’ve had but I still feel it’s nowhere near how good I feel I can be. I didn’t even get out of second gear against Saunders and could have stepped it up had the fight gone on that bit longer.

“I am probably going to be boxing next month on an MGM show on December 3 at the Crowne Plaza in Glasgow and then I’ll hopefully be defending my title early next year. I’ll have had ten fights by then so all being well, we’d be looking to go for an international title. I feel so much more confident having had a fight live on TV so I think I’m just going to get better. I think this is the best Scottish boxing has been for a long time, definitely in the pro game.”