It was a relaxed Jason Easton that walked into the gym to discuss his upcoming Commonwealth Championship fight against Glen Foot with his trainer Kenny McCartney and Strength & Conditioning coach John Keenan.
The SSE Hydro will be the venue for possibly Jason’s toughest fight to date as chief support to Josh Taylor V Humberto Soto on the Cyclone Promotions show “Scotland’s Finest”.
Another big show which also has another big title on the line. Jason is fast becoming a fans favourite on these shows and is working hard to get to the top, I was interested to know what he had been working on this time.
“I think it showed in my last fight that I’d been working on my footwork and my defence. We’d also been working on trying to keep the heid (keep calm) in a fight as well but I kind of lost it a wee bit when I got cut. That’s something we will work on again for the next one to make sure that doesn’t happen next time”
“Kenny has been telling me to start off being smart and box him early and then later on if I’m having success then I can mix it up and can get inside. The goal is obviously to keep him at distance, box him and be smart. I’m going to try and not get involved but I always seem to end up getting involved in it at some point. If I do it will be later on as he will be most dangerous at the early stages as that’s where he caught Josh Leather last time so I will need to be smart as well as careful”
Kenny added “I think he should be going backwards against him for the first few rounds as he’s going to come at us. The more you make him miss the more aggressive he gets so if we can demoralise him for the first few rounds picking him off that will work well. Josh Leather showed him how to box and I feel Jason is a better boxer and a harder hitter than him so if we go backwards he might become a bit more aggressive and that will play into our hands”
I’ve openly said that although Josh Taylor is the main event I think this one is the fight of the night and wanted to know if Kenny or Jason agreed.
Kenny admitted; “That’s what we thought as well, it’s for the Commonwealth Title and could be the fight of the night. This is the best chance for us to make a big statement so he (Jason) has to be smart and clued up, it’s easier said than done when you’re in the ring and the guy is in your face, Glen is not going to be stupid, he tried it with Leather and he’ll try it with us, especially in the fight”
What’s it like for you in the corner when it’s your fighter who is getting involved, especially when you’ve told him not to?
“It’s scary as I know that one mistake and that could be it, if he gets hit you know he’s going to hit back and that’s when you can be liable to make a mistake. If he does go on the attack with somebody you know there is the chance of something coming back but also the chance he can catch his opponent which is what makes his fights so good”
“When he fought Josef Zahradnik after about four or five rounds I thought we were going to stop him. When he got cut I said just stay off him but there were a couple of times he still dived in, it’s just a matter of screwing the nut and boxing”
“He’ll not be able to fight this guy (Foot) at the start or we don’t want to fight him at the start anyway. We want to be smart and show the boxing ability he has then he can maybe take him out later on.”
Jason added, “The main goal is to get the win, I don’t go out thinking I’m going to make this an exciting fight but obviously they seem to be that. The main thing is to win; if it’s an exciting fight then it’s an exciting fight”
John Keenan is the Strength & Conditioning coach and he explained what sort of stuff he has been working on with Jason.
“There is a continuous goal and then there are little goals we also have for every fight. It’s always continuing improving his strength, when we first started working together it was building his muscle strength as he had never done anything like this before so it was a case of building his strength and learning new skills. We’ve got him Olympic lifting now which is really good and also because he fights at such a light weight we have to be careful we don’t build too much muscle then he has to cut muscle to make weight. Muscle is an active tissue so that would make him more fatigued and more tired in a fight so it’s tricky. His fitness speaks for itself, that’s something we work on and the intensity of it is something we always work on. We take his body to an intensity he won’t reach in a boxing match. Boxing matches can be unpredictable so you can’t prepare for a fight going to be fast or slow, what we can do is take him to an intensity we know he will recognise in the ring so that he recognises how tired he is going to be. For example, if mid-way through a fight your heart rate is going to a place it has never been to before some fighters could panic, we take him past his max heart rate in our work so he recognises it when he’s in the ring and his body recognises it. We also want him to be a bit faster for this fight so are working on different things to engage his hips faster or pull his weight faster. We put together a programme based on each individual fight he has. These all might seem like little things but they will make a difference to how he performs”
Jason agreed this has helped him as it lets him know he still has plenty in the tank if he does slow down and that he can pick the pace back up again. He also felt he was in the best shape he has been in so far this far out from a fight.
“I feel great right now, I feel fit and strong. I think I’m shaping up a lot better already than my last fight. Even wee daft things like doing muscle ups I’m smashing it so it will hopefully show in my power”
Every fighter learns with every fight they have, I wanted to know what the team had learned from the Zahradnik fight.
Kenny gave a very honest appraisal
“Because he was cut he could have panicked but he knew he would have won the fight if it had been stopped as he was well ahead and it had been ruled a head clash. I did have to say to him though don’t fall into him again as the guy could have hit him with a shot and opened the cut more which could then have got it stopped legitimately. Learning how to control a fight is definitely something he is learning. Foot comes in with his head and that’s a problem we don’t want, I think he will demoralise him by boxing him”
Jason chipped in, “I don’t want to get involved in a war and get clipped or cut 3 fights in a row, it also means I’m out from sparring for six or seven weeks if I take a cut”
So moving onto the prediction, how did Jason see the fight going?
“I’m going to win; I don’t want to say I’ll stop him or that it’s going to be in a particular round as that’s not really me. I’m very confident I’m going to get the win whether it be a knockout or points, it will be a good fight though. I don’t want to get involved into his way of fighting so if I stay focused and stay smart and I win.
Jason would like to thank the following sponsors who help make the training camps easier: Mac Roofing & Building, Bisset Waste Management, Mark Woods Roofing & Building, Beauty by Jordan, Central Home Developments, Edinburgh Fitness Solutions, SWT SCNC Apparel and Edinburgh Meal Prep Kitchen.
Anyone still looking for tickets can contact Jason or Kenny via Facebook but be quick as they are moving fast.
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