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Fortune vows to make Pacquiao win his fight vs Matthysse


PhilBoxing.com





“A puncher, always a puncher.”


With these words, Manny Pacquiao’s trainer Justin Fortune assured all and sundry he sees no problem preparing the Filipino eight-division world champion win his coming fight against World Boxing Association welterweight titlist Lucas “La Maquina” Matthysse a little over a month from today.

The now 39-year-old Pacquiao, who is celebrating his 23rd anniversary as a prizefighter, and the Argentine 147-pound champ, battle for 12 rounds for the latter’s crown on July 15 (July 14 in the US) at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur.

“A puncher, always a puncher. Manny was what he was when he started as light-flyweight 23 years ago and he still is what he is now,” Fortune fold this writer in an interview at the Hotel 101 coffee shop where he is billeted.

Fortune, who arrived in Manila last Friday to join the now Senator’s training team made up of Buboy Fernandez, Nonoy Neri, Roger “Haplas” Fernandez and Nonito Donaire Sr., was trying to dispel beliefs by sectors including Matthysse’s that the country’s boxing hero is already past his prime and no longer possesses that which made him the toast of boxing world for the last two decades.

In short, Fortune believes Pacquiao still packs the punch that dropped 38 of the total 68 opponents he faced throughout his entire career as a pro on the way to winning world titles in the flyweight, super-bantamweight, featherweight, super-featherweight, lightweight, light-welterweight, welterweight and super-welterweight divisions.

“I saw him train yesterday (Friday) when I arrived and sas how he punished Buboy while working with the mitts. He’s still very strong. No wonder Buboy, I heard, was asking for somebody to help him in that department,” he said, his eyes rolling.

Fortune, who owns the Fortune Gym at the heart of Hollywood in Los a Angeles, just a stone throw away from Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym, also expressed amazement on Pacquiao’s speed, which he said hasn’t changed since he first joined the Filipino camp in the early 2000s.


Pacquiao jumps for an imaginary basketball during his training in Manila Thrusday.

“He’s is still very quick with his pair of hands and feet, I tell you. Manny’s definitely faster than Matthysse,” Fortune attested.

Fortune, a strength and conditioning expert, asserted, too, that these Pacquiao assets are natural, “gifts that remain in an athlete provided he or she knows how to maintain them.”

“And I know Manny knows. They’re his main weapons in all his battle in his career, they’ll also be his main weapons in this coming fight against Matthysse,” he pointed out.

“And as members of his training team, it’ ll be our job to make Manny regain them and maintain until the day he climbs atop that ring and fights,” he said.

“It’ll be a tough fight, I admit. But comes that time, Manny will be the stronger, the quicker and the better fighter,” Fortune vowed.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eddie Alinea.


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