Strength and conditioning Coach Justin Fortune said that Manny Pacquiao has reached 60 percent level of readiness for his upcoming fight against Jessie Vargas on November 5, at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Fortune, 50, believes that the 27-year-old World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion Vargas, with a 27-1-0 win-loss-draw record with 10 knockouts, is not a threat to Pacquiao (58-6-2 record with 38 knockouts) despite the American’s advantage in height.
Pacquiao is turning 38 in December.
“This is the first time that I’ve seen Manny after the third Timothy Bradley fight last April. Manny always keep himself in great shape,” Fortune told The Manila Times at the Elorde Gym in Five E-Comm building, Mall of Asia in Pasay City.
“He is now in 60 percent fighting condition but when coach Freddie (Roach) gets here probably next week, Manny will become stronger and faster than he is today. Coach Freddie will improve Manny’s explosiveness as he nears peak condition. Freddie will just adjust few things. They are working for a long period of time together. There’ll be no problem.”
Fortune, who also trains other boxers and mixed martial arts fighters in his own gym in Los Angeles, sees Pacquiao’s duties as a senator not a hindrance to his boxing training.
“It will be just fine,” said Fortune. “Jessie Vargas is an A fighter while Pacquiao is a triple A fighter. Manny fought and defeated the likes of Oscar Dela Hoya, Marco Antonio Barrera, Juan Manuel Marquez and Erik Morales. Those boxers are really tough.”
Fortune said that the unbeaten Jose Ramirez is a good pick as Pacquiao’s sparring partner for the Vargas fight. “Jessie is 5’10 while Ramirez also stands 5’10. Ramirez will be a good sparring partner because he is a good technical boxer too.”
Pacquiao’s personal adviser Mike Koncz, meanwhile, said that they would lockdown the gym starting next week to shun distractions as Pacquiao trains.
“We’ll going to lockdown the gym next week especially when Freddie arrives to avoid any distractions. By October 20, we’ll fly to the US,” Konz said.