Justin Fortune, Manny Pacquiao's long-time strength and conditioning coach must be doing something right.
After all, the 40-year old eight-division boxing world champion is still competing at an elite level, and this weekend at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas, Nevada, Pacquiao is looking to add another world championship to his collection when he meets undefeated American Keith "One Time" Thurman for the WBA (Super) Welterweight World Championship.
At 30 years old, Thurman may have the significant youth advantage over Pacquiao, but if you ask Fortune, that youth advantage is about the only thing he has going for him.
"Speed, strength, and experience. That’s it," Fortune responded when asked what Pacquiao's advantages were.
And while the Australian is nothing short of confident in Pacquiao, he says there should still be a level of caution come fight night. Thurman, after all, is an undefeated champion.
"We’re not really afraid of anything, we just have to be careful that Manny doesn’t walk into a trap," Fortune explained. "Thurman is smart, his trainer is a very good trainer. Keith has a tendency to set traps, and Manny could walk into something,"
In his 29 wins, Thurman has gotten the knockout 22 times, so KO power is certainly not a question.
Still, Fortune believes that Thurman won't be able to put everything together to get the win over the Pinoy boxing legend.
"He’s just not smart enough and fast enough to beat Pacquiao. Simple as that. And he’s not strong enough either. He’s got a lot of knockouts and sh*t, big deal."
As for gameplan, Fortune, a former OPBF Heavyweight Champion in his younger days, says that the goal is to put the pressure on the defending champion. He believes that Thurman won't be able to hang with Pacquiao in the later rounds.
"We would like a knockout, but we’re not going to look for it," Fortune said. "Manny wins on points, that’s it. Either he wins on points, or overwhelms Keith, that’s the goal, to overwhelm him. Keith won’t be able to keep up the same pace. Manny throws a thousand punches a fight, around that average, about 900 to a thousand, over a thousand, that’s a lot of punches. I don’t see Thurman maintaining that pace."
Don't miss the action! Catch Manny Pacquiao challenge Keith Thurman for the WBA (Super) Welterweight World Championship LIVE on SKY PPV this coming Sunday, July 21st! Follow the blow-by-blow coverage on DZMM Radyo Patrol 630 starting at 11:00 AM!
For more information, log on to https://www.mysky.com.ph/pacman
The fight will also be available in the Middle East on https://tfc.tv/live/details/
ABS-CBN channel 2's free TV telecast will begin at 10 am. Replay will be at 3:00 PM on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23.
The entire bout will be available on iWant beginning Monday, July 22.