Yes indeed, Roc Nation still runs a boxing program, as Junior Younan, the NY based prospect who gloves up Saturday night against Derrick Findley, can attest.
Roc is seeing through the development of some of their younger guns, people like Younan, and Darmani Rock, and those fighters have been kept reasonably patient while leeway has been given for a patient trek toward maturation.
Younan, age 23, holds a 14-0-1 mark; leading up to his tango against solid journeyman Findley on a card which also features Roc boxer Maurice Hooker, a champ at 140, we chatted, to get an update on what he’s been up to and where he sees his career going on the near horizon.
“I’m great, just excited about getting back in the ring,” he told NYF. “My last fight (vs Evert Bravo (Sept. 2018, KO1 win) was very special to me because it was the first time I fought back in Brooklyn in over 3 years. So a lot of people came out and it was a great night (at Barclays Center).”
Grade your last outing, I requested.
“I give myself an A+, doesn’t get more perfect then that.”
And to now…what does he think about the 34 year old Findley, who owns a 30-24-1 record.
“Durable tough dude with a solid chin and a lot of will. He’s fought tons of champions (like Andre Ward, Andre Dirrell, Jesse Hart). This step up for me is very exciting. I’m just maturing more every day and it’ll definitely show Saturday.”
Part of maturing means learning from losses or places where it didn’t go as well as hoped for. That describes his February 2018 draw on ShoBox against Ronald Ellis.
What did he learn from draw?
“Just how to control the pace better. It’s more of what I felt after the draw that made me grow. More work rate has elevated me to another level. I’m more hungry and better prepared.”
Where is as a prospect/contender?
“After this year I will be knocking on some doors. Four fights this year will put me in a good place.”
Prediction for March 9, underneath a Dmitriy Bivol light heavyweight title defense against Joe Smith at Turning Stone in Verona, NY, and on DAZN.
“A boxing clinic,” said Younan. “I want to show everyone all the things I am able to do. If the knockout comes it comes but I’m focused on just beating him up for 8 rounds!”
Last words from the light heavyweight young gunner?
“I want to thank my dad Sharif Younan for all the time and effort he puts in so I can be at my absolute best. My strength and conditioning coach Luis Ruiz for believing in my ability and also giving tons of effort so I’m ready. And the NY sports science lab Dr. John Piazza, Juan Delgado, Rushi Shahiwala and Matt Diorio who have been such a blessing getting me ready for my past two fights, I can’t thank them enough. Saturday I will put on a tremendous show.”