Fortune prefers intense training program for Pacquiao

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  • While admitting that Filipino boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao still possesses what it takes to win another world championship, American trainer Justin Fortune wants the eight-division belt owner to undergo a shorter but more intense preparation program for his coming fight with Argentine World Boxing champ Lucas Matthysse.
    Pacquao will be eyeing for Matthysse’s 147-pound title on July 14 (July 15 Manila time) at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur.
    “By shorter, I mean Manny should not stay inside the gym more than two hours as he used to do before,” Fortune, who arrived last Friday from Los Angeles to augment Pacquiao’s training team headed by Buboy Fernandez, clarified in an interview on Saturday.
    “This is not about the number of days or weeks in training. This is about how Manny can be able to last the program. How he will climb the ring comes fight time healthy and injury-free”, Fortune stressed.
    “A 39 going 40, Manny is not that young anymore to endure the rigor of long training,” Justin explained. “I told that to Manny himself when we talked on the phone. I also told Buboy and the rest of the team when we met upon my arrival here.”
    The idea, Fortune spelled out, is to respect where Pacquiao is now on account of his age. The team should give him ample time to rest after each day of rigorous, intense training session so that he remains strong for another day, which starts with physical conditioning roadwork early morning.
    “Staying in the gym for one and-a-half to two hours the most would be the most ideal. No more additional round with the mitts, with sparring, heavy bag, etc. as we often did before,” Fortune, who assured he will stay with the team in the entire duration of training until the day of the fight, said.
    “Besides, the trainers, especially Buboy and others working the mitts also need respite so they remain fresh in both mind and body to continue doing our job well the next day,” he reasoned out.
    “If before, no one can say no to Manny when he asked for more rounds of this and that, this time I assure you, I can,” he said with a wide grin. “Our worst enemy here is for Manny to get over-trained or peaked early. We have to watch for that.”
    Fortune said the fact that Pacquiao will be on the ring without the man he’s been with the past 20 years or so, in reference to Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach, made the training team’s responsibility bigger.
    “Our job is to train Manny to win. We will do that,” Fortune vowed, That’s the reason why we’re here. We, Buboy, (Nonoy) Neri, Haplas (Roger Fernandez) and the rest will be united in doing the job for that one purpose. “
    Besides Buboy, Neri, Haplas and Fortune, Pacquiao’s training group also includes Jonathan Penalosa, Ting Ariosa and Nonito Donaire Sr., father of former champion Nonito Jr. * Photo by Wendell Alinea/MP Promotions

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