Young Reflects on Time with Andre Ward, Looks Forward to Next Fight

Young spent fight week with Ward leading into his title defense against Chad Dawson (Photo courtesy of the Juice Crew).

Young Slated to Return to Ring on October 13th

In less than a year as a professional fighter, Anthony “Juice” Young (6-0, 2 KOs) has made quite a name for himself, and the Atlantic City native has been turning the heads of some of the biggest figures in the sport of boxing. Among them is undefeated world champion Andre Ward (26-0, 14 KOs), who most recognize as a top three pound-for-pound king and recently had Young come out to California to join him for a brilliant dismantling of Chad Dawson (31-2, 17 KOs) in September.

“It motivates me a lot. Being around a world champion, arguably the best fighter in the world, and seeing how he approaches and gets ready for his fight, you learn a lot,” Young remarked. “It was a great experience, a humbling experience. In the end, it motivated me at the same time because I want to be where he’s at.”

Not only did Ward have Young fly out to California for the week, he also gave him the honor of bringing his WBA Super World and WBC Super Middleweight Championship Belts to the ring for the bout with Dawson, literally putting him on a stage that the entire boxing world was watching.

“That says a lot about him as a person,” Young commented. “He’s not just a great fighter, he’s a great person. He’s a very religious man, a family-first man. That’s just how he is. When he came down last December for his fight with Carl Froch, not knowing where anything was, I volunteered myself to help him out. I guess he looked at that like me being a good person. He doesn’t let too many people in his life like that. For anybody to be a part of his life, he has to have much respect for them. I am just grateful to know him, and not just because he is a great fighter but because he is a great person.”

Many people may have been a bit struck to watch Ward break down Dawson in such dominating fashion in their bout, which saw Dawson get dropped three times before telling referee Steve Smoger he longer wanted to fight in the 10th round, but no shock was on the faces of those in the corner of Ward.

“We had a conversation the day before the fight, and he told me ‘Don’t be surprised if I stop this dude,’” Young reflected. “I was like ‘I won’t be surprised because I see the work you put in. I know how you train and go about your business. It won’t surprise me. It might surprise everybody else, but not me.’ Then he went out there and did what he said he was going to do. Just to be a part of it was crazy. I couldn’t have asked for any more. If I would’ve stayed at home and watched on TV, it still would’ve been like I was there. For him to actually bring me out there was unbelievable. I was just happy to be there, and grateful at the same time. The whole experience is driving me because that is where I want to be. Seeing all the attention that sacrifice can bring is humbling, and it is driving at the same time.”

As soon as Young returned to New Jersey after the trip to the West Coast, he immediately got back in the gym to begin preparations for the rest of 2012, which he hopes could see him in the ring as many as three more times. Currently, his next outing is slated for October 13th in North Carolina.

“Training has been going well,” Young confirmed. “The experience with Andre Ward has kicked everything to another level. Not saying that I didn’t already take my craft very seriously, but it makes me say ‘What more can I do? What else can I do to better myself?’ I feel like I can always do better. When I got back, I knew I couldn’t settle for just being good. I have to get better each and every day.”

One development in his camp has been the addition of Allen Laws as his new strength and conditioning coach, and Young says that the move has already paid dividends.

“Allen Laws has taken my conditioning to a new level,” he stated. “When they see me walk into the ring and see my body, they will definitely know I’ve kicked my training to another level. I’m trying to come in there in the best shape of my life. Expect explosiveness and power. Expect a little bit of everything. The best Juice is yet to come, and we’re about to start showing it in these next couple of fights coming up. Right now, I’m looking forward to putting on some great performances.”

After his October bout, Young is tentatively returning to action on November 10th at the New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville. Also scheduled to fight on that card is undefeated super middleweight Derrick “Take It to the Bank” Webster (13-0, 7 KOs), who spent five weeks with Ward in California to help him prepare for the bout with Dawson.

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