If there’s one thing that may concern strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune in Manny Pacquiao’s training camp for his July 2 title defense against Jeff Horn, it’s not Pacquiao’s conditioning leading up to the fight.
It’s how to contain him.
“Manny always trains very hard. If anything, we have to hold him back a little bit cause he has the tendency to over-train,” Fortune remarked about the Fighting Senator in an interview with Tiebreaker Times.
“But if we would let him, he would do fifteen, twenty rounds on the mitts. He has no problem of doing that whatsoever. So you got to pull him back because we need it for the fight, not in the gym.”
A former boxer who tallied a 15-9-2 record and once faced former world champion Lennox Lewis, Fortune remains amazed with the reigning WBO World Welterweight Champion’s uncanny athleticism.
Even at 38 years of age, Pacquiao still has the capabilities to compete and win at a high level. This makes him a very dangerous threat to anyone inside the ring.
“He’s just a freak athlete!
“Every sport has them, he’s boxing’s freak athlete so he’s extremely fast — faster than anyone else out there and still very, very strong. So combine both of them, that makes him very devastating,” the 51-year-old trainer furthered.
The former heavyweight pugilist added: “Strength’s a gift. He’ll always be able to punch on top of the speed that he has still, that’s what makes him so dangerous.”
And Fortune expects Jeff Horn to be at his best in the ring in an attempt to seize the opportunity against the sport’s only eight-division.
That is, if he doesn’t get caught by Pacquiao.
“Jeff’s strong. I mean he’ll fight better than we’ve seen him fight before simply because he’s fighting Manny Pacquiao.
“We’ll be ready for Jeff but if he gets hit by those Pacquiao combinations, they’re tough to come away from. Better, greater, bigger world champions are being at the receiving end of the beatdown from Manny because every single punch is hard and every punch comes fast. So it’s tough to see,” the Californian shared.
“Jeff’s a tough guy, he’ll be there to fight. He’s definitely there to fight. Anybody with a pair of gloves on, you have to be careful of… So we’ll be ready for him. Is he ready for us? That’s the question.”