Pacquiao in better shape than Broner fight, says Fortune
LAS VEGAS, USA – When Manny Pacquiao hits the scales in the official weigh-in for his World Boxing Association welterweight title duel with Keith Thurman, strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune expects his Filipino ward to come in at 146 to 147 pounds.
On fight night, Fortune wants Pacquiao to gain 6 pounds as he estimates Thurman to bulk up to at least 160 pounds on Saturday, July 20 (Sunday, July 21, Philippine time).
Actually, Thurman’s weight poses little concern for Fortune.
He believes Pacquiao is in even better shape than when he tangled with Adrien Broner in January.
“He’s a little more lethal,” said Fortune. “He sees a little more and picks his shots.”
Fortune thinks the knockout will come when Pacquiao wants it.
If it’s solely his call, Fortune would rather let Pacquiao take a break and relax at his Skylofts Suite on Thursday, July 18 (Friday, July 19), at MGM Grand here.
But having known the eight-division world champion for 18 years, Fortune knows it would be a no-no for Pacquiao, who admits being an exercise addict apart from treating training as vacation.
As in their last two fights, which resulted to a knockout over Argentine Lucas Matthysse and a dominant unanimous decision over American Broner, Fortune and Pacquiao reached a concession.
There will be no more gym work on Thursday, only some running and walking at the tracks of University of Nevada in Las Vegas.
Of course, Fortune expects Pacquiao to again plea for a workout extension, as he always does during their training camp that started in Manila and actually ended Monday at Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood.
Even if Pacquiao begs, however, Fortune promised to turn him down.
“We had a deal,” said Fortune, whose main responsibility is to see to it Pacquiao doesn’t get burned out.
This happened in Brisbane, Australia two years ago when Pacquiao lost by unanimous decision to Jeff Horn.
Now that the Fighting Senator has learned to listen to his body, particularly on recovery period, Fortune finds it easier to regulate Pacquiao’s training.
Fortune said Pacquiao hit his peak last week, leaving him and the rest of the training team (lead trainer Buboy Fernandez, consultant Freddie Roach, and assistant trainers Nonoy Neri, Marvin Somodio and Roger Fernandez) on constant watch for any sign of overtraining. They saw none. – Rappler.com