Sports

Fortune aims to revive Pacman’s fortunes

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Manny Pacquiao is bringing in his former conditioning coach as he steps up his preparations to revive his sagging fortunes in the ring.

 

The return of Justin Fortune, a Los Angeles-based Australian, to Team Pacquiao was announced by Pacquiao’s adviser Mike Koncz yesterday.

Koncz said Fortune, an ex-heavyweight fighter, will arrive on Oct. 6 and will immediately head to General Santos City where Pacquiao is holding his training camp.

Fortune will replace Alex Ariza who was fired by Pacquiao following a feud with trainer Freddie Roach.

Ariza quickly found a new master in Brandon Rios, who will be Pacquiao’s opponent in an important comeback fight on Nov. 24 in Macau.

The 47-year-old Fortune left Pacquiao in April 2007 after Pacquiao’s fight with Jorge Solis of Mexico. Like Ariza, Fortune left because a misunderstanding with Roach.

Koncz said he has talked with Roach, who assured him that he won’t have any problems working again with Fortune, whose boxing record is 15-9-2, with nine knockouts. One of Fortune’s defeats was a fourth-round knockout to former undisputed world heavyweight king Lennox Lewis.

Fortune’s training skills helped Pacquiao become the boxer that he is. The Australian is credited for helping Pacquiao score a landmark victory over Marco Antonio Barrera in San Antonio, Texas, in Nov. 2003.

The electrifying win over Barrera turned Pacquiao into a hot property.

Meanwhile, Pacquiao worked out a sweat yesterday at the MP Towers (site of the L&M Gym), displaying speed and power and a lot more, assuring those in attendance that he hasn’t lost a step despite his knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez.

On hand was Gerry Peñalosa, his long-time buddy and former two-time world champion, who was impressed by Pacquiao’s splendid showing.

“He remains the same. The same old Manny,” said Penalosa. Manila Bulletin

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