Young is currently 6-0 as a professional.
By John Archibald, Resolution Sports
Atlantic City welterweight Anthony “Juice” Young (6-0, 2 KOs) has been working hard at his craft since he first picked up a pair of boxing gloves as an amateur, and he has quickly been catching the eyes of some of the biggest stars in the game during his first full year as a professional. Already linked up with 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist and undefeated world champion Andre Ward, who most regard as one of the two best fighters on the planet, Young was also recently side-by-side with skyrocketing WBC Lightweight Champion Adrien Broner for his dismantling of Antonio DeMarco in November at Boardwalk Hall.
“I hooked up with Adrien Broner through Julie Goldsticker, who is Andre Ward’s publicist,” Young commented. “She knows Mike Stafford (Broner’s trainer) because she works with the USA Boxing Team, and Mike Stafford is one of the USA coaches. I reached out to her because I knew Broner was fighting in the City. When I called her, she said they were looking for somewhere to train and asked if it was cool to give Mike Stafford my number. I said ‘Yeah, of course.’ They flew in that night on a Monday and got in around 10-11:00. They called me around 12:00 and asked if I would take them to a gym, so I picked them up and took them to our gym (Bullpen Vale Tudo & Jiu Jitsu Gym in Egg Harbor, New Jersey). I was with their team leading all the way up to the weigh-ins, and they gave me a credential to the fight. I walked Broner to the ring, and it was just a wonderful feeling. They showed me a lot of love, and I showed them love. We both returned the favor.”
Providing the type of hospitality that Young showed to Broner and his team is same way he set off a close friendship with Andre Ward when he came into town to fight Carl Froch in 2011. Once again, his highly likable personality, along with a true boxing skill set, led to another budding friendship with a world champion. This time, it has even led Young into a world championship camp.
“In the process of everything, trainer Kevin Cunningham was working Broner’s corner, and he wanted a haircut,” Young reflected. “I took him to the barber shop, he and a couple other people from Team Broner. I was showing people from Broner’s camp one of my fights. Kevin was there watching it on my phone with them, and he started asking me all types of questions and then said something about bringing me out to camp. It pretty much went from there. He was a really regular, funny guy. He wasn’t just a trainer, he was a real dude. It was just love all the way around, and he already kept his word.”
Kept his word he did, as Young flew out to St. Louis on Sunday night to join IBF Welterweight Champion Devon Alexander (24-1, 13 KOs) as he prepares for a title defense against Kell Brook (29-0, 19 KOs) on January 19th. Young will remain in the Show Me State until the 23rd before coming home briefly for Christmas. He will then return to St. Louis on the 26th to finish out camp with Alexander on January 12th.
Regularly spending time alongside some of the most skillful boxers in the sport, Young says that he is more focused than ever on becoming the best fighter that he can possibly be.
“It definitely makes me elevate my game,” Young remarked. “The relationship I have with Andre Ward is a special one. We’re not just affiliated. It’s like a real big brother/little brother relationship. He’s one of the best in the game. Being around him and seeing his hunger, his drive, pushes me to find that extra level. With Broner, you look at him on TV or YouTube, and you’d think he was a clown who is always playing and not taking it seriously. He’s actually the complete opposite. He gets in the gym, and he is a non-stop machine. He’s constantly working and takes no breaks. He might take a break if he has to go to the bathroom, at the most.”
While he was getting himself ready for St. Louis, Young approached the camp with the same determination as if he was working towards his own fight. He knows that he has a great opportunity in front of him, and he looks to take full advantage of it.
“I know I have to be on top of my game,” he stated before leaving on Sunday. “I’m going to work with a world champion. You can’t go there out of shape and expect to get into shape. I’m going out there with the mindset of already being in shape, trying to put it on him because I know he’s going to put it on me. I can’t go out there trying to play checkers. I have to be ready to play chess. He has to defend his IBF Title, and I have to get him ready for that. I have to be at the top of my game, and that’s making me take it to a whole another level. In order for me to get where they’re at, I have to step my game up. This is another step closer to where I want to be. Just being around world champions is really going to groom me for when the time comes for me to step into that limelight.”
Stay tuned to Resolution Sports for regular features with Anthony “Juice” Young as he spends the next six weeks in camp with Devon Alexander.