I first saw this young man on an undercard in April of 2012 at the Resorts Casino in Atlantic City, NJ. He fought, and won, a four round unanimous decision against Jose Javier Calderon (4-2-0), a formidable opponent. Although he displays power, agility, and good instincts in the ring; it wasn’t any of those that caught my eye. There was a rather large amount of people in the arena to cheer this young man on, “The Juice Crew” they called themselves.
It was the presence of his large contingent that made me pay attention and catch the other attributes. He won that fight decisively, to say the least, and it was on to the next one. That fight was at the Robert Treat Hotel in Newark, NJ. He faced Christian Steele (2-4-0). Although he hopes to put on a better performance this Friday, Juice says he learned a lot from that fight. Lessons like “stay relaxed and keep the distance; I got hit more than I should have in my last fight.”
His fight this Friday is on the undercard of Henry “Hammerin Hank” Lundy v. Raymundo “Sugar” Beltran. The main even will be featured on the ESPN2 series “Friday Night Fights” I asked Young if he felt any pressure knowing that eyes such as those belonging to former world champ Zab Judah (filling in for regular correspondent Teddy Atlas who is in London covering the Olympics) will be ringside he replied: “There’s no pressure, its more motivating knowing that there’s an opportunity for these guys to see me fight.” And as far as his hopes to make an appearance on the network in the future, “It’s all in the hands of my management, ill take whatever they put in front of me. “
It is safe to say that Young is heavily focused on the task at hand. He is a rather active fighter, he has fought three times already this year, but that doesn’t bother him. “ I enjoy staying active, it keeps your mind sharp and you get paid, who doesn’t love to make money?” One thing I noticed when doing research for this piece was the quality of Young’s opponents. They are all pretty formidable and it’s safe to say he hasn’t had the easiest fights thus far in his short career. To this he simply replies, “What would I learn fighting tomato cans? I could easily tell my managers to get me in there with someone I can blow out with two punches and call it a day but what would I learn? Nothing, my weight class is a lion’s den; I’ve got to be prepared.”
That weight class is none other than the packed 147 pound welterweight division. In the course of our conversation, Young mentioned that he is in the best shape he can be and he doesn’t watch film on his opponents. His reasoning being, “I don’t want to prepare for one thing and then he gets in the ring with a totally different style.” He stays in shape and keeps his mind ready, and for a fighter as early on in his career as he is, what more could one ask? Personally, I am interested in following this fighter. He is the kind of people boxing needs. Hungry, driven, and most of all, he just does it for the love of the sport. As far as what the fans may see on Friday night, his answer was short and sweet: “Fireworks.”