Pacquiao not slowing down anytime soon—Fortune
HOLLYWOOD—Cooling down after his last sparring session Saturday afternoon, the classic feel good song “Sweet Caroline” started playing at packed Wild Card Gym.
When the chorus came in, Pacquiao stopped and gestured the crowd to sing along: “Good times never seemed so good.”
Clearly, Pacquiao was enjoying himself. There were no signs of pressure even if it’s just a week away from taking on an unbeaten champ in American Keith Thurman.
“You can never tell what will happen next,” said Pacquiao after the three-hour workout. “Only God knows. But God is good. He gives me strength and success.”
Watching him up close for almost a decade, strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune swore he can’t see any signs of Pacquiao slowing down anytime soon.
What people should look out for, according to Fortune, is how at 40, the only Filipino to have such measure of global success and mainstream popularity is getting even better.
“More experienced and much calmer,” said the former world heavyweight title contender.
Pacquiao is clearly the only remnant of an era with the retirement of Floyd Mayweather, Juan Manuel Marquez and Erik Morales.
But even then, Fortune said Pacquiao is still way up there with the top dogs of the stacked welterweight division.
“You know he’s always been in great shape. He’s calmer. He knows how to pick his shots,” said Fortune. ‘Inside the ring, he’s a very, very experienced fighter, there’s not a lot of fighters that had that many fights and still active at this level.”
That would be the big difference on July 20 (July 21 in Manila) when he seeks to unify the WBA welterweight titles.
“He’s been through everything. He doesn’t get rattled inside the ring,” Fortune added.
When someone asked if how many fights Pacquiao has before riding into the sunset, Fortune said: “He can fight as long as he wants to, he’s the one who decides this stuff, you know. But so far have you seen his dance? There you go.”
“When a fighter takes blows and doesn’t seem reacting as he should be, those are the signs. So far there’s no signs of that happening [with Pacquiao]. He stops when he wants to stop.”
Later in the afternoon, Pacquiao led a bible study inside his posh home, causing a gridlock at Plymouth Boulevard as the crowd spilled outside.