Trainer vows Pacquiao will be in 'best shape of his life'


Posted at Mar 10 2014 07:08 PM | Updated as of Mar 11 2014 03:08 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Strength and conditioning trainer Justin Fortune promised that Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao will be in fantastic shape when he steps into the ring for his welterweight rematch against Timothy Bradley Jr. on April 12.

Fortune is back in Team Pacquiao, replacing estranged former conditioning coach Alex Ariza, who had a bitter falling out with the “Pacman’s” chief trainer, Freddie Roach.

“I’m happy to be back working with Manny and Freddie, who are the best in the business,” Fortune told Joaquin Henson of The Philippine Star.

“Against Bradley, Manny will be strong and quick,” he assured. “(There will be) no problem with cramp issues, those will be addressed. He’ll be in the best shape of his life.”

Pacquiao famously suffered cramps in his last few fights with Ariza at the helm, although there were no reports of cramping when he battered Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios in November 2013.

Fortune also assured Pacquiao’s supporters that the Filipino fighter’s punching power remains intact.

“Power doesn’t go away or diminish. He’ll be as strong as before,” he said.

At the same time, Fortune is not predicting an outright victory for Pacquiao out of respect for Bradley, whom he called a “good guy” and a “champion.”

“But I’ve got a job to do with Manny,” he added. “He’s faced Bradley before; he knows what to do to win. It’s my job to get him in the best shape to make that win happen.”