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Minus Roach, Pacquiao gets a jolt
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Minus Roach, Pacquiao gets a jolt

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, July 11 ------ Altering training patterns did Manny Pacquiao real good. Like an electric volt, it shocked his body system back to work. No wonder, he appears younger, moves faster these days, according to strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune. Add to that the fact that Pacquiao was happy with his new training team and the formula for a successful ring return against Argentine champion Lucas Matthysse at Axiata Arena here is in place. Fortune, an Australian who formerly fought as a heavyweight and now owns a boxing and fitness gym in Hollywood, said the training staff headed by Buboy Fernandez decided to tinker with the training system of Hall of Famer Freddie Roach to give Pacquiao's body a jolt. “We changed the ways he trains,” said Fortune, who infused more pylometrics and changed the way training is being run.

According to Fortune, everyone among the trainers that also included Nonoy Neri, Haplas, Fernandez, Jonathan Penalosa, Ting Ariosa and Nonito Donaire Sr. gave their inputs during the eight-week training camp held in General Santos City. “We can say let's try this, let's try that. Unlike before when there's only one voice (Roach).” Fortune insists Pacquiao is in much better shape for his bout against Matthysse than when he fought and lost to his countryman Jeff Horn in Brisbane, Australia, a year ago. “Last fight was terrible,” admitted Fortune. “But now, he's mentally, emotionally and physically prepared.”

Fortune cited as proof Pacquiao's three conquests of the steepest hills of Sarangani being used for paragliding. “That was brutal, worse than Griffith Park,” said Fortune, referring to Pacquiao's uphill runs when he trains in Los Angeles. If you conquer it, 12 rounds is nothing,” stressed Fortune, who believes that Matthysse's go-forward style is tailor-made for Pacquiao. Fortune, however, thinks the Argentine won't rush up Pacquiao the way Horn did. “He's not fast enough, but he's smart. He has a good trainer (Joel Diaz), he can punch and he's been with good opponents. He's dangerous,” said Fortune. Against a rejuvenated, recharged Pacquiao, however, Matthysse will be in for a rude awakening.

Source: rappler.com/sports