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List of Articles by Eddie Alinea


 

JUSTIN FORTUNE: JESSIE VARGAS IS NOTHING SPECIAL

By Eddie Alinea
PhilBoxing.com
22 Sep 2016



No amount of daring on the part of World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Jessie Vargas can erase the fact that he will be an overwhelming underdog when he stakes his title against Filipino fighting Senator Manny Pacquiao a little than two months from now.

Pacquiao's strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune noted that he had watched several of Vargas' fights, including that against erstwhile unbeaten Sadam Ali, at whose expense the Mexican-American took the 147-pound crown and he had seen nothing special in his arsenal for him to beat Pacquiao in their 12-round showdown on November 5 at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas.

"Nothing, I saw nothing special in him that will make him beat Manny," Fortune, asserted Monday, the day he arrived in Manila to beef up Pacquiao's team in preparation for the Filipino ring icon's comeback fight following a brief self-imposed retirement.

"Vargas assured everybody to beat the hell out of Manny and avenge the defeat of his Mexican countrymen at the hands of Manny. How he can do it, I don't know," Fortune said after watching he eight-division champion completed Monday's training session consisting of five rounds with the mitts with assistant trainer Buboy Fernandez plus a few rounds more at the heavy bag, double end and speed balls.

"The truth is, he's not in the league yet of, say (Erik) Morales and (Marco Antonio) Barrera, whose defeats to Manny he particularly wants to take revenge for," he said. "In the same manner, he, too, is not in the class yet of Oscar (DeLa Hoya) and Juan Manuel (Marquez).

Fortune observed that the way he saw Pacquiao worked out that day, the soon-to-be 38-year-old former congressman will be too strong and too fast for the title-defending belt-owner to contain come fight night.

The world-renowned trainer, was, in fact, amazed with the improvement Pacquiao had taken since he last saw him fight April this year when he easily disposed off Timothy Bradley.

"It looks like Buboy and the rest of the guys have been doing great since Manny started training three week ago," Fortune said in reference to assistant trainers Nonoy Neri and Roger "Haplas" Fernandez. "Seeing Manny today, I think he's ready for the heavier and tougher stage of preparation starting tomorrow (Tuesday).

Fortune disclosed that Hall of Fame chief trainer Freddie Roach is scheduled to arrive Manila early next week to oversee the more crucial leg of preparations. Roach is coming from Oklahoma were he will be in the corner of his protege, Tray Morrison in a heavyweight fight this Friday.

Roach is coming with at least one sparring partner, light-welterweight Jose Ramirez, in tow.

Pacquiao's business consultant Michael Koncz, for his part, revealed that the plan is to get two sparring mates but added one other, a lightweight, has yet to pass the scrutiny of Roach.

Photo: Strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune (L) reports to duty in the Pacquiao camp in Manila Monday ahead of Pacquiao's upcoming fight against WBO welterweight champion Jessie Vargas at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas on Nov. 5. Photo by Wendell Alinea.


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