by Ronnie Nathanielsz
“Fighter of the Decade” Manny Pacquiao’s former strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune believes that if the stunning 6th round knockout suffered by Pacquiao at the hands of Mexico’s Juan Manuel Marquez last December 8 hasn’t affected him, his fight against former world champion Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios should be easy.
Fortune told the BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard “If the knockout didn’t affect Manny, he will destroy Rios.” However, Fortune who runs his own gym in Los Angeles after a split with Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach said “I really don’t know” whether the knockout affected Pacquiao or not.
He said Rios “will come right on top of Manny and if Manny doesn’t have room to punch he’ll have a problem.”
Fortune also claimed that Rios “is a dirty fighter who uses his elbows” and other unfair tactics in a fight and Pacquiao will have to watch out for this.
The trainer of Rios, Robert Garcia told us before our conversation with Fortune that Rios was “in the middle of training” in the Oxnard Gym when we contacted him.
Garcia said even though there are some three months to go before the November 24 showdown in Macau, Rios “is training very hard.”