Young, pictured here with manager Ray Masini and trainer Ray McCline, looks for his ninth pro win in Newark, NJ.
Written by John Archibald, Resolution Sports
Undefeated Atlantic City welterweight Anthony “Juice” Young (8-0, 4 KOs) returns to the ring this Friday night when he meets James Harrison (3-3-1, 1 KO) of Louisiana at the Robert Treat Hotel in Newark, New Jersey, looking to keep his perfect professional record intact. Heading into this bout, Young received some of the best possible work to prepare him for any form of opposition in WBC, WBA (Super) and Ring Magazine 140-Pound Titleholder Danny Garcia (26-0, 16 KOs), who will face hard-hitting Argentinean Lucas Matthysse (34-2, 32 KOs) in the co-main event of the Floyd Mayweather vs. Canelo Alvarez superfight on Saturday night in Las Vegas.
“Leading into this fight, I was in Danny Garcia’s camp for three weeks, getting excellent work with the champ, a unified champ at that,” Young stated. “We were also getting some sparring with Lanardo Tyner and Hector Munoz, two savvy veterans with a lot of fights. I got some really good work in another championship camp, so in the process of getting Danny ready for his fight, I was getting ready for my own fight. He fights on the 14th and I fight on the 13th, so I’m the appetizer for The One.”
Being called into a championship training camp is nothing new for the 25-year-old Young, who most recently helped IBF Welterweight Titleholder Devon Alexander prepare for an eventual bout with Lee Purdy earlier this summer. Alexander rolled in that bout and forced a 7th round stoppage by the corner of his opponent.
Receiving the amount of respect that it takes to be invited into championship camps of fighters like Alexander and Garcia is something that Young says has helped him develop as a boxer from both a mental and physical perspective.
“Danny is a world class fighter, so just being in there with him gives me confidence,” Young admitted. “He’s an excellent counter puncher and has devastating power in his left hook. For me to be in there trying to cause riffraff for him and giving him good work, that’s something that will only make me better. When we got done sparring, he’d let me know that it was some good work. Being in there helps me build my confidence. At the end of the day, it’s all about what you believe about yourself. You can train until the sky turns purple, but nothing is ever going to happen for you unless you believe in yourself. You have to have that self-belief, and that’s something I definitely took from being around Danny. He gets counted out every fight. When he fought Zab, they said he wasn’t going to beat Zab. When he fought Kahn, they said he wasn’t going to beat Khan. Now he’s fighting Matthysse, who I believe is his toughest fight to date, and a lot of people are counting him out again. But as long as you have that self-belief and execute the proper game plan, you’ll more than likely come out successfully. That type of self-confidence is something I took away from being in camp with Danny. Regardless of what anybody says, he feels like nobody can beat him.”
As Young continues to develop his craft, he definitely appreciates the opportunity to mix it up with fighters who are already sitting in the upper echelon of the sport. However, he does not want anyone to think for a second that he only goes into a camp to merely let himself get touched up. Rather, it says it is the exact opposite.
“It’s a great compliment to get invited into these camps, but, at the same time, I’m not just a sparring partner,” he confirmed. “They come to me because they know that they’ll get some good work. If they just wanted a punching bag, they’d call in guys who are 0-20, guys with losing records and will just come forward and be battered. These guys are champions for a reason, and they want to make sure that they’re sharp. I may not be the biggest puncher, but I’m very elusive and very sharp with my punches. So while it builds my confidence to get that call, don’t ever expect to see me getting into the habit of just being a sparring partner.”
Young, who has looked more and more impressive with every passing bout, now looks to apply the experience of this most recent camp with Garcia when he returns to the ring on Friday night. With head trainer Ray McCline in his corner, he feels that everyone at the Robert Treat Hotel can expect another yet impressive outing, more than likely the best of his continually improving professional career.
“Expect fireworks,” he concluded. “I’m feeling strong. I’m feeling like I’m punching harder than I have been in the past. I’m really feeling like I’m starting to get my grown man strength. I’m 25, but some people don’t truly get it until a little later. You can expect a good performance, a strong performance. You’ll see the growth in me since the last time you saw me fight, and that’s pretty much it. Expect a good, strong performance.”
Tickets for Friday night can still be purchased through the Juice Crew by calling (609) 246-1855 for the price of $40. The Young vs. Harrison bout is scheduled as the co-feature of the show, with his stablemate John Thompson (12-0, 4 KOs) taking on Brandon Quarles (10-1-1, 3 KOs) in the main event.