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ROACH: FORTUNE IS A NON-ISSUE


PhilBoxing.com




CEBU CITY -- Topnotch American trainer Freddie Roach did not mince words in responding to a question on whether the absence of former conditioning coach Justin Fortune may negatively affect Pacquiao's ongoing training for his upcoming rematch with Mexico's Marco Antonio Barrera on October 6.

"Fortune is a non-entity, he is a non-issue," Roach told PhilBoxing.com during a break in Pacquiao's training at the Wakee Salud Gym in Cebu. "He was my assistant before and I created the job for him to help me conditioned my boxers. But I know exactly what's going on and what my boxer needs so it is not that I cannot function properly without him," Roach said.

The Fortune issue was raised at yesterday's column by The Philippine Daily Inquirer's Recah Trinidad. "I laughed when I read it," Roach quipped referring to the article.

"What did he do? He accompanied Manny doing the roadwork, tailing Manny from his own vehicle, helping in the gym here and there. What else?," Roach asked referring to Fortune.

When told that Fortune did the famous stick routine to strengthen Pacquiao's body, Roach said, "that's nothing."

Roach and Fortune had a failing after Fortune refused to give Roach a share of the trainer's cut from the purse of Pacquiao's fight with Jorge Solis last April. It was Fortune who had trained Pacquiao the whole time while Roach was unavailable when he was training Oscar de la Hoya in Puerto Rico.

Roach, who owned the Wildcard Gym in Los Angeles where Pacquiao had been training in America, claimed that he was in control of Pacquiao's training regimen against Solis and had given daily instruction to Fortune and others what to do via telephone. Roach had a break at De la Hoya's training camp for a day and flew to San Antonio to be in Pacquiao's corner during the fight with Solis.

Roach also informed that he was no longer interested in pursuing a case against Fortune. "I gave it to him (the money). It will be a lot of hassle on my part pursuing the case. But you know what? Fortune could have earned a lot more money if he had stick around," Roach concluded.


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