Manny Pacquiao’s long-time strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune said there’s no reason to panic even if trainer Freddie Roach was alarmed that the eight-division world champion is “way behind the training schedule.”
Fortune is confident that the Filipino ring icon will be in tip-top shape when he fights Jeff Horn on July 2 for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.
“He (Pacquiao) is about 60 percent now and we still have good five or six weeks of training, a solid training ahead us, so we’re taking the training wisely,” Fortune told The Manila Times in an interview. “He needs to be very smart and avoid to be over trained.”
Roach said Pacquiao’s five-round sparring session on Tuesday was the worst he had seen since handling the Filipino fighter.
But Fortune, who is an Australian, was not worried as he felt they have enough time to turn Pacquiao into a beast for the title fight.
Also, Fortune is confident that the 38-year-old Pacquiao (59-6-2 win-loss-draw record with 38 knockouts) has a strong chance of knocking out the 29-year-old Horn (16-0-1 record with 11 knockouts) due to the Australian’s fighting style.
“I expect a knockout win for Manny because Jeff Horn is not afraid to fight and that will be his downfall. He comes to fight but Manny is too fast and too strong. Horn is fast and strong also but on a different level, very far,” said Fortune.
“As long as it lasts, I guess it’s going to be a good fight,” he added.
He also laughed at Horn’s trainer Glenn Rushton’s early statement that Horn is “Juan Manuel Marquez 2.0 version.”
“Juan Manuel Marquez 2.0? What? You can pull my kids out off retirement now and I assure you Manny will beat Jeff Horn,” added Fortune, who added that Roach might bring one or two more sparring partners for Pacquiao this week.
Marquez knocked out Pacquiao with a strong right hand in the sixth round of their third bout on November 12, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. That is one of the strategies that Horn is looking at since he is also a right-handed boxer like the Mexican.