Pacquiao ‘strong, faster’ for tiffBy Roy Luarca |Philippine Daily Inquirer
LAS VEGAS—For Justin Fortune, Manny Pacquiao isn’t damaged goods at 35 years old. In fact, the Filipino boxing superstar is fresher than the younger Bradley, who is 30, Fortune adds.
“Remember, Pacquiao has never been punished in the ring,” said the Australian assistant of the famous Freddie Roach who returned to the Pacquiao camp to serve as the Fighter of the Decade’s strength and conditioning coach.
In contrast, Bradley took a beating against Ruslan Provodnikov, though he won the decision, in their Fight of the Year showdown for Bradley’s title last year.
Fortune, a former heavyweight fighter who runs his own gym in Hollywood, was invited by head mentor Freddie Roach to add a new dimension to Pacquiao’s training regimen.
And Fortune did not disappoint as Pacquiao expressed satisfaction with his current form.
According to Fortune, Pacquiao hasn’t slowed down and has learned a lot since their partnership as trainer-pupil started in 2003 and temporarily ended in 2007.
“Strong and fast,” that’s a deadly combination, Fortune said of Pacquiao.
“Speed, that is what gets people,” he added, citing Pacquiao’s 12-round demolition of Brandon Rios last November in Macau as example.
As in their previous training sessions at Top Rank Gym, the atmosphere was light and jolly.
Though Pacquiao gave Roach a demonstration of what he intends to do with Bradley—unloading combinations that aim to hurt and destroy—he was playful at times.
Pacquiao made moves reminiscent of martial arts legend Bruce Lee complete with guttural sounds.
Missing basketball, Pacquiao also dribbled and unleashed jump shots, without the ball, of course.
After Roach declared when the training camp closed, Pacquiao invited former victim Miguel Cotto, Provodnikov, Ray Beltran and two-time Olympic champion Zhou Shiming for a photo shoot with Roach.
It was a star-studded cast with Pacquiao the brightest of them all.