Young is undefeated in five professional bouts.
By John Archibald, Resolution Sports
Anthony "Juice" Young Set to Battle Richard Andrews in Atlantic City
When the lights hit Resorts Casino in Atlantic City on Friday evening for the latest installment of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights, one undercard fighter is sure to turn the heads of everyone who has not already seen him in action. Anthony “Juice” Young (5-0, 2 KOs) has quickly been moving up the welterweight rankings since turning professional just nine months ago to the day, and the he will look to continue that rise in front of a hometown crowd when he faces Virginia’s Richard Andrews (3-1-3, 1 KOs) on a show highlighted by a main event pairing of Hank Lundy and Raymundo Beltran for the NABF Lightweight Title.
“Camp went great,” Young said after weighing in at 145.3 pounds on Thursday night. “I had some great sparring. I put in a lot of road work and a lot of strength and conditioning. For my sixth fight, I’m going to be in the best shape I’ve been in so far in my career.”
Needless to say, Young has been busy since turning professional, with Friday evening marking his sixth bout in merely nine months. During that time, he has defeated the likes of such hard-hitting fighters as Jose Javier Calderon in April and even won his first six-round affair this past June against a scrappy Christian Steele in Newark. However, that quick pace is something that Young welcomes with open arms.
“I want to stay as active as possible,” he confirmed. “Whoever says he doesn’t like making money is a liar. If you’re staying active, you’re making money. My trainer, Ray McCline, and manager, Rich Masini, don’t put me in there with anyone I can’t handle. They put me in there with tough guys, but I just go ahead and handle business. No matter the situation, I just go out and do whatever it takes to win.”
Without question, Young quickly passes the eye test in the ring, and his trainer, Ray McCline, says that is something the Atlantic City native was doing before he ever even applied for his professional license.
“I saw Juice for the first time over two years ago. I didn’t know him personally, but I had seen him in the gym sparring different people and working out, and I always thought he had talent,” McCline reflected. “However, I never saw anyone working with him one-on-one or sharpening up and grooming him. Almost a year and a half ago, his uncle, who was a close friend of mine from high school, had approached me at a fight at Bally’s and spoke to me about working with him. I had no idea that it was the same person.”
Once they met to have a conversation about a possible relationship, it was quickly apparent that McCline thought the sky could potentially be the limit for Young, who had yet to have his first professional bout at this point.
“In April of last year, we sat in my office, and we talked about Juice turning pro and what his future would be like,” McCline recollected. “I told them that he had the ability to become a world champion. If not a world champion, fight for a title or be in contention for it. Our first fight was in October of 2011, and, here it is, he’s going in for his sixth pro fight. By October of this year, we should be 8-0. He definitely has the ‘it factor’ and definitely has the ability and work ethic to become something special.”
Young now has the perfect stage on Friday night to make the boxing community feel the same way that McCline does already, but the 24-year-old welterweight says that he never needs the bright lights of ESPN to get him hyped up for a fight.
“It gives me a little bit of motivation, but, at the end of the day, I’m fighting for what I believe in,” he stated. “I’m fighting for my family. I’m fighting for myself. Whether it’s ESPN or a low-budget card, I’m still going to go out there and put on the same performance. Yeah, they’ll be a lot more viewers, so of course you want to perform well. But at the end of the day, winning is the most important thing.”
And what does Young predict people will see as he seeks out his sixth professional victory?
“Expect fireworks,” he confirmed. “I’m in the best shape of my life. I’m young, I’m pretty, I hit hard. I plan to put on a strong performance.”
Doors will open at Resorts Casino at 6:00 p.m. on Friday night, with ESPN kicking off its live telecast at 10:00 p.m.