Jason Easton opens up on heart-breaking end to his boxing career
Up and out the front door before sunrise. The endless sprints and sparring sessions. The beads of sweat dripping from his forehead – a return to the boxing ring was imminent for former Celtic super lightweight champion Jason Easton. Or so it seemed.
However, the 28-year-old’s world has this week been turned upside down following the British Boxing Board of Control’s decision not to reinstate the Edinburgh fighter with his licence.
The sport’s governing body revoked the former Craigmillar amateur’s licence 16 months ago following his conviction for assault, an incident he deeply regrets.
As part of his punishment, Easton was ordered to carry out 250 hours unpaid work, which he completed earlier this year and, having sought assurances from the BBBC he would be given the thumbs up to resume his career upon completion, he was aghast to receive the news his application had been knocked back.
However, he revealed the board have taken their stance based on medical advice from doctors, Easton having suffered from migraines in the build-up to his 11th-round Commonwealth defeat – the first of his career – to Glenn Foot in March last year.
“I’ve done everything asked to get my licence back and the Board are still saying no,” Easton explained to the Evening News.
“I know why they take these things seriously and that’s fine because of recent deaths in the sport, but I’ve been given the all clear. The neurologist deemed me fit to fight. I’ve had a few MRI and CT scans and they were all good, as well as the opticians.
“I’ve not had one migraine in the 18 months since my last fight. I only had them in the lead up because my preparation was so bad for that fight. I wasn’t rehydrating myself enough.
“I was almost a stone over weight the week before and I just wasn’t myself. I wasn’t mentally in the right place heading into the most important fight of my career.
“But I just can’t understand their decision. Why send me for all these tests, spend so much money and for what? Boxing is all I’ve ever known. There’s been a lot of tears because I know I’m now at the end of my journey.
“If I appeal the Board’s decision it is going to cost me so much because I’d need to pay for an expert to go down and sit in front of the Board and put my case across. And there’s no guarantees.
“I‘ve had such hopes for the last year that I’d return so it’s ruined me this decision. I was pencilled in to fight at the end of this month.
“I have no complaints about my licence being revoked in the first place. I deserved it for what I did. But I’ve completed my 250 hours so that’s in the past. I can’t help but think they are trying to make an example of me.”
One door may have closed but another has opened, as Easton revealed.
“I’ve started Jiu Jitsu,” he said. “I have to do something. I want to fight and then do MMA. I’m confident I can make something of it.
“I travelled the world with Scotland in my amateur days but the pros have been a blast. I’ve loved it. It’s a very selfish sport and people want to help you when you’re doing well. I was only fighting on Josh Taylor’s cards up until recently.
“But things have turned out so different for us both. It’s hard watching because we shared so many bills but I’m absolutely over the moon with how well Josh has done. You could see he was going right to the top from the very beginning.”