WHEEL OF 'FORTUNE' SPINS FOR MANNY

Justin Fortune is back as Manny Pacquiao’s strength and conditioning coach. He’s expected to hook up with Pacquiao when the Filipino icon reports for work at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles this afternoon (US time). “I’m happy to be back working with Manny and Freddie who are the best in the business,” said the Australian who worked six years with Pacquiao until after the Jorge Solis fight in 2007. “Manny’s a friend. He’s more than a fighter to me. At 35, Manny’s in great shape. Against (Timothy) Bradley, Manny will be strong and quick. No problem with cramp issues, those will be addressed. He’ll be in the best shape of his life.” In 2008, Fortune opened his own gym after breaking off with Roach and Pacquiao. The facility is on Sunset Boulevard, about a 15-minute drive from the Wild Card Gym. He has built an impressive stable of clients including Brazilian mixed martial arts fighter Renata (Babalu) Sobral, IBF Intercontinental lightheavyweight champion Anatoliy Dudchenko of Ukraine, unbeaten superfeatherweight Will Tomlinson of Australia and International Female Boxing Association bantamweight queen Bridgett (Baby Doll) Riley. Fortune has worked with Mike Tyson, James Toney, Israel Vasquez, Brian Viloria, Johnny Bredahl and Filipino superbantamweight contender Drian Francisco.

ALSO: Pacquiao in LA for final grind

The old familiar faces were around when Filipino boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao arrived at the Los Angeles International Airport yesterday morning (Saturday evening in the US) for his April 12 clash with Timothy Bradley. Die-hard friends and supporters as well as members of the media welcomed Pacquiao at the LAX following a 12-hour flight from Manila. The 35-year-old Pacquiao, clad in jeans, blue jeans and black leather jacket, wore his famous smile upon his arrival. But the one who stood out among the welcome party was Justine Fortune, who served as Pacquiao’s strength and conditioning coach for a number of years until he parted ways with the Fiipino camp in 2007. Yes, the former heavyweight contender from Australia, who once faced Lennox Lewis inside the ring, is back with Team Pacquiao.

ALSO: Pacquiao focused on fight, not on Senate seat–adviser

He may be called upon for the next senatorial elections in 2016, but Manny Pacquiao is more concerned with the present – his upcoming fight against Timothy Bradley in April. According to his adviser Mike Koncz, the eight-division World champion is hard-pressed in training for his rematch against Bradley on April 12 and not concerned with the invitation of Vice President Jejomar Binay. “Manny is busy training right now, and he is very much focused on the fight against Bradley,” Koncz told INQUIRER.net in a phone conversation Friday afternoon.

ALSO: Pacquiao is Binay’s senatorial bet

Vice President Jejomar Binay announced on Friday that boxing icon and Saranggani Representative Manny Pacquiao would be included in his senatorial slate in 2016. Binay, in an interview, said 40-year-old Pacquiao was qualified to run for the Senate. In a press conference Friday, Binay said that he was already talking to Pacquiao about running for senator even before the 2013 senatorial elections. “Yes, we will include him in the [senatorial] slate,” Binay told reporters when asked whether Pacquiao will be one of his candidates. “We have been in talks for a long time. Even before the 2013 elections,” he said. Binay has previously announced his intentions to run for president in 2016. He said that they were looking for more candidates that were interested in the senatorial state as early as now. “We are looking for those interested to run for senator. We don’t want to repeat what happened [in 2013 where] we didn’t field a full slate of 12 candidates because of lack of time,” he said. “Hopefully the 12 will be completed long before elections,” Binay said. Among the candidates being considered as his running mate were Batangas Governor Vilma Santos-Recto and Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada.



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Wheel of Fortune spins for Manny


Justin Fortune

MANILA, MARCH 10, 2014, (PHILSTAR) By Joaquin Henson - Justin Fortune is back as Manny Pacquiao’s strength and conditioning coach. He’s expected to hook up with Pacquiao when the Filipino icon reports for work at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles this afternoon (US time).

“I’m happy to be back working with Manny and Freddie who are the best in the business,” said the Australian who worked six years with Pacquiao until after the Jorge Solis fight in 2007. “Manny’s a friend. He’s more than a fighter to me. At 35, Manny’s in great shape. Against (Timothy) Bradley, Manny will be strong and quick. No problem with cramp issues, those will be addressed. He’ll be in the best shape of his life.”

In 2008, Fortune opened his own gym after breaking off with Roach and Pacquiao. The facility is on Sunset Boulevard, about a 15-minute drive from the Wild Card Gym. He has built an impressive stable of clients including Brazilian mixed martial arts fighter Renata (Babalu) Sobral, IBF Intercontinental lightheavyweight champion Anatoliy Dudchenko of Ukraine, unbeaten superfeatherweight Will Tomlinson of Australia and International Female Boxing Association bantamweight queen Bridgett (Baby Doll) Riley. Fortune has worked with Mike Tyson, James Toney, Israel Vasquez, Brian Viloria, Johnny Bredahl and Filipino superbantamweight contender Drian Francisco.


"Fighter of the Decade" Manny Pacquiao is bringing back his first strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune to replace Alex Ariza, who had earlier been fired by celebrated trainer Freddie Roach after a meeting with Pacquiao and adviser Michael Koncz in Macau at the kickoff of the media tour to promote the November 24 showdown with Brandon Rios.

Fortune, 48, said he’s not in the habit of making predictions on the outcome of fights. “Anything can happen in boxing,” said Fortune in a telephone interview from his Los Angeles home last week. “I never make any predictions. That’s because I respect both fighters in the ring, no matter who they are. I respect Bradley, he’s got great legs, he’s a good guy, a champion. But I’ve got a job to do with Manny. 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.”

As for Pacquiao’s power, Fortune said it’s a gift that won’t be diminished with age. “Power doesn’t go away or diminish,” he said. “He’ll be as strong as before. If you notice, older fighters with power are always dangerous because they’ve got a puncher’s chance to win. George Foreman still had his power when he knocked out Michael Moorer and he was 45.” Fortune said there’s no reason to doubt that Pacquiao will be in peak form for Bradley when they clash at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on April 12.

Fortune said Bradley’s pronouncements that Pacquiao has lost his killer’s instinct will backfire. “I read that Bradley wants the old Pacquiao back,” he said. “Well, I think Manny will give him what he wants.”

Fortune said down the road, he hopes Pacquiao will meet Floyd Mayweather, Jr. “As far as I’m concerned, Mayweather can’t go around saying he’s the best until he fights the best and for me, Manny’s the best,” said Fortune. The speculation is if Pacquiao disposes of Bradley and regains

the WBO welterweight championship, he’ll go after Juan Manuel Marquez next late this year. Once Pacquiao takes care of Marquez in their fifth encounter, Mayweather won’t be able to avoid the ultimate showdown that the whole world is waiting for. It will be the fight of the century with both fighters expected to earn at least $50 Million each on condition they keep winning from now until then.

Fortune was once a fighter himself and in 1995, battled heavyweight legend Lennox Lewis in Dublin. He wound up with a 15-9-2 record, including 9 KOs, and his last fight was in 2009. Fortune employs a team of trainers in his gym, specializing in boxing, Gracie jiu jitsu, mixed martial arts, muay thai and power yoga. He was the Australian powerlifting champion in 1987 and has squatted 365 kilograms as a 110 kilogram junior.

Fortune said he’s known Roach since 1992. “Freddie even trained me as a fighter,” said Fortune. “I know him better than anyone.” In 2007, Fortune and Roach had a bitter parting of ways over money and they sued each other. Their disagreement has now been resolved. Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz said it was the Filipino fighter himself who asked for Fortune to return to his team. Fortune was supposed to rejoin Pacquiao’s camp for the Brandon Rios fight but couldn’t disengage from his previous commitments in the US and passed up the chance. Now, Fortune is back where he belongs.

Pacquiao hasn’t scored a win inside the distance since halting Miguel Cotto in 2009, meaning his last seven fights all went the full route. Bradley said Pacquiao has lost the itch to pull the trigger. Koncz said Pacquiao is challenged by Bradley’s taunts and highly motivated to regain the WBO throne. Bradley, 30, has never been beaten. Pacquiao is on a mission to tame the Desert Storm.

Pacquiao in LA for final grind By Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 10, 2014 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0

MANILA, Philippines - The old familiar faces were around when Filipino boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao arrived at the Los Angeles International Airport yesterday morning (Saturday evening in the US) for his April 12 clash with Timothy Bradley.

Die-hard friends and supporters as well as members of the media welcomed Pacquiao at the LAX following a 12-hour flight from Manila.

The 35-year-old Pacquiao, clad in jeans, blue jeans and black leather jacket, wore his famous smile upon his arrival.

But the one who stood out among the welcome party was Justine Fortune, who served as Pacquiao’s strength and conditioning coach for a number of years until he parted ways with the Fiipino camp in 2007.

Yes, the former heavyweight contender from Australia, who once faced Lennox Lewis inside the ring, is back with Team Pacquiao.


MANNY ARRIVES IN LA

Photos of Pacquiao’s arrival, posted at www. philboxing.com, showed Pacquiao and Fortune warmly greeting each other.

Pacquiao has four weeks left to train for the Bradley fight, and things heat up starting Monday at new south wing of the Wild Card Gym on Vine St. in Hollywood.

Fortune will be in charge of Pacquiao’s conditioning and will be assisted by Cecilio Flores, also a strength coach now in charge of the boxer’s organic diet.

Flying in with Pacquiao were his chief trainer Freddie Roach, sparring partner Lydell Rhodes, assistants Buboy Fernandez and Roger Fernandez, and adviser Mike Koncz.

Before boarding the flight to LA, Roach aired his satisfaction with the way Pacquiao spent the last three or four weeks training in General Santos City.

He said Bradley will be in for a big surprise.

“We had a great camp in the Philippines and Manny, as usual, is way ahead of schedule in his conditioning , and very motivated,” Roach said.

“The real business begins for us on Monday at Wild Card. We have great sparring waiting for Manny. He wants that title back.”

Pacquiao is out to avenge a bitter loss to Bradley almost two years ago. At the same time, he wants to regain the WBO weltwerweight crown, and his old reputation as one of the fiercest fighters out there.

Bradley has repeatedly said Pacquiao has lost the killer instinct, saying that’s the first thing he noticed when the eight-division world champion fought and defeated Brandon Rios in Macau last November.

Pacquiao has not scored a knockout since 2009. Roach said Bradley is making a big mistake. “If Bradley thinks he’s going to see the same compassionate Manny he saw the first time they fought he is in for a very big surprise,” said Roach.

FROM THE INQUIRER

Pacquiao focused on fight, not on Senate seat–adviser By Bong Lozada INQUIRER.net 7:02 pm | Friday, March 7th, 2014

MANILA, Philippines – He may be called upon for the next senatorial elections in 2016, but Manny Pacquiao is more concerned with the present – his upcoming fight against Timothy Bradley in April.

According to his adviser Mike Koncz, the eight-division World champion is hard-pressed in training for his rematch against Bradley on April 12 and not concerned with the invitation of Vice President Jejomar Binay.

“Manny is busy training right now, and he is very much focused on the fight against Bradley,” Koncz told INQUIRER.net in a phone conversation Friday afternoon.

He added that Pacquiao would leave for the United States Saturday to continue his training.

Pacquiao lost to Bradley in a controversial decision during their fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada June 9, 2012.

Pacquiao is Binay’s senatorial bet By Maila Ager, Matikas Santos INQUIRER.net 3:03 pm | Friday, March 7th, 2014

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Jejomar Binay announced on Friday that boxing icon and Saranggani Representative Manny Pacquiao would be included in his senatorial slate in 2016.

Binay, in an interview, said 40-year-old Pacquiao was qualified to run for the Senate.

In a press conference Friday, Binay said that he was already talking to Pacquiao about running for senator even before the 2013 senatorial elections.

“Yes, we will include him in the [senatorial] slate,” Binay told reporters when asked whether Pacquiao will be one of his candidates.

“We have been in talks for a long time. Even before the 2013 elections,” he said.

Binay has previously announced his intentions to run for president in 2016. He said that they were looking for more candidates that were interested in the senatorial state as early as now.

“We are looking for those interested to run for senator. We don’t want to repeat what happened [in 2013 where] we didn’t field a full slate of 12 candidates because of lack of time,” he said.

“Hopefully the 12 will be completed long before elections,” Binay said.

Among the candidates being considered as his running mate were Batangas Governor Vilma Santos-Recto and Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada.

Binay, however, clarified that nothing is final yet until he has made a formal declaration.

Pacquiao ran as congressman under the Nacionalista Party headed by former Senator Manny Villar, who ran for president in 2010 and was PDP-Laban’s gubernatorial candidate in 2012.

“35 (years old) sa Senate? Pwede na (A 35-year-old in the Senate. Could be),” he said.

Binay refused to identify the other candidates who would be included in his senatorial ticket.

“Ayoko na. Dahan-dahan lang…Walang excitement pagka nalaman later on (That’s enough. Let’s take it slowly . . . There won’t be any excitement after they’re known later on),” he said.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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