HOLLYWOOD – Both Freddie Roach and Justin Fortune are one in saying Manny Pacquiao is all primed up for Timothy Bradley in their world welterweight title rematch.
On the penultimate day of sparring in the Filipino boxer’s training camp at the Wild Card gym here, Roach was confident enough to declare his most prized ward is now 100 percent ready for the April 13 (Manila time) fight against the reigning champion at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
“He’s ready to go,” said Roach after presiding over six rounds in Pacquiao’s Saturday sparring against former world champion Steve Forbes, Lyle Rhodes, and Julian Rodriguez.
The eight-time champion sparred two rounds each against the three fighters.
Fortune couldn’t agree more with the 55-year-old Hall of Fame trainer with whom he is reunited after being separated for seven years.
“His conditioning is very good,” said Fortune, noting Pacquiao ran a 45-minute uphill climb in full speed during his regular morning run earlier.
“He is eating well and his weight is good,” added the Australian strength and conditioning coach, who’s working Pacquiao’s training camp for the first time since his infamous falling out with Roach in 2007.
Despite the 35-year-old boxing icon already in perfect condition for his rematch with the unbeaten Bradley, Fortune would still not take the champion for granted.
The former undersized heavyweight contender, who once fought the great Lennox Lewis, acknowledged Bradley is one hell of a fighter.
“This is not a cakewalk for Manny… You don’t take somebody like him lightly,” said Fortune.
He added, “He (Bradley) has got a lot of heart and never-say-die attitude. He comes to fight and he has something to prove.”
But one thing Fortune sees as Pacquiao's big advantage against Bradley is his speed and power. The strength and conditioning coach cited how the American champion was knocked down by Ruslan Provodnikov in the 12th round of their WBO title fight last year which the native of Palm Springs, California still won by unanimous decision.
Fortune pointed out, though, that Provodnikov, now the reigning WBO light-welterweight title holder, only has power but is lacking in speed.
“Provodnikov has a lot of power, but he doesn’t have the speed that Manny has,” he said. “Manny has speed and power, and that's a deadly combination.”