Pacquiao ‘a physical freak,’ says strength coach
HOLLYWOOD — Justin Fortune is familiar with Manny Pacquiao’s vaunted speed, power, and stamina.
He’d worked with Pacquiao several times as strength and conditioning coach and did the same role in the final phase of the Filipino icon’s training camp for Timothy Bradley at Wild Card Gym here.
Still, the 51-year-old Austrlian couldn’t help but marvel at Pacquiao’s natural gifts.
“Manny’s a freak. A physical freak,” Fortune, a former heavyweight boxer, said Thursday (Friday in Manila).
“It’s not about if Manny can keep up with Bradley. It’s about if Bradley can keep up with Manny,” added Fortune, who runs hiw own gym at Sunset Boulevard here.
According to Fortune, an adherent of plyometrics, he’s letting Pacquiao do more leg work to further enhance his speed.
“Manny wins,” said Fortune, who downplayed Bradley’s claims of re-inventing himself under the guidance of new trainer Teddy Atlas.
“Once he gets hit and saw Mannny’s blinding speed, he’ll revert to his old self. Manny, of course, knows how to beat the old Bradley.”
Fortune said Pacquiao’s right shoulder injury has healed completely and it would be foolish for Bradley if he makes it his primary target.
“That’s not smart as he’ll leave himself open to Manny’s punches.”
Asked if Pacquiao has slipped a bit, Fortune said for a 37-year-old he’s still at the top of his game.
“And even when the time comes that he does, Manny will still be hard to match.”
After all, he’s one of a kind. A physical wonder.
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