KO victory up to Pacquiao – Fortune

Roy Luarca
KO victory up to Pacquiao – Fortune
Even at 40, Manny Pacquiao is a 'very tough guy to beat,' says his strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune

LOS ANGELES, USA – For Justin Fortune, a Manny Pacquiao win over Keith Thurman would be enough.

If their battle for welterweight supremacy on Saturday, July 20 (Sunday, July 21, Philippine time) ends via knockout, it’s because Pacquiao “wants it.”

Telling Filipino sportswriters he doesn’t predict knockout rounds, Fortune – Pacquiao’s strength and conditioning coach – said he’s just looking for the win.

“If knockout comes right, he wants it. So ideally at this stage, experience-wise, he can stop him (Thurman) whenever he wants this guy,” he said.

Having seen how hard Pacquiao worked out and attained optimum form in their month-long training camp at Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, Fortune was convinced that Thurman had a minimal chance of upstaging the 8-division world champion.

“He’s crazy with his speed and power, plus his experience. He’s a very tough guy to beat, plus a two-fight win streak,” said Fortune, noting Pacquiao “doesn’t breathe heavy” after sparring and training session.

“He’s not gassed out.”

Pacquiao’s stamina, of course, is extraordinary.

He’d leave behind younger boxers and runners during morning uphill runs in Griffith Park, then hit the gym in the afternoon for mitts session and exercises in the afternoon.

Fortune also attests to Pacquiao’s freakish metabolism, which enables him to burn 7,000 calories a day.

No wonder, Pacquiao eats 5 full meals a day without encountering weight problems.

Over the weekend, Fortune said Pacquiao weighed 149 pounds, just two pounds off the limit, before a two-hour workout.

Come fight night, Fortune said he expects Pacquiao to put on 6 to 8 pounds which will definitely be lighter than that of the taller, bigger Thurman.

Regardless, Pacquiao should be able to handle the unbeaten champion’s power.

With Pacquiao already at his peak since last week, Fortune charted a light schedule ahead.

“Monday, we work out. Last run on Monday (plus few rounds of sparring in the afternoon before Team Pacquiao heads for Las Vegas). Tuesday light jogging. Light mitts session Wednesday. Then we’ll be there for a walk Thursday,” he said. – Rappler.com

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