By Edward Chaykovsky
Well-known strength and conditioning trainer Justin Fortune is preparing Solomon Haumono for his scheduled fight with hot heavyweight contender Joseph Parker in Christchurch on July 21.
"We're going to rough this motherf***er up,” Fortune told The Daily Telegraph when discussing the upcoming contest.
Fortune, best known for his work with Manny Pacquiao and other top names who are handled by Freddie Roach, says Haumono is a very dangerous fighter with a lot of ability.
Parker is the number one ranked contender under the IBF. He is guaranteed a shot at IBF world champion Anthony Joshua (16-0, 16KOs) - but Haumono (24-2-2, 21KO) can easily snatch away that opportunity for himself with an upset win.
Fortune was very surprised with Haumono's punching power. A former fighter himself who faced the likes of Lennox Lewis and others, Fortune has an expert opinion when it comes to the punching ability of a heavyweight.
“You’re going to see a Solomon Haumono you’ve never seen before, he is going to be completely different to anything he has ever shown in the past,” Fortune said to The Daily Telegraph. “He has been a plodder. He plods forward and throws those big looping right hands. We’re changing all that.
“In terms of power, pound for pound, he generates what Manny does. The difference is that Manny has incredible speed, he throws hooks and lateral punches so fast, and speed kills. We’ve been working on speed a lot with Sol here.”
“Sol can punch like a train. I’ve sparred a lot of heavyweights, I’ve trained a lot of heavyweights, and I’m telling you Sol can really punch. His power surprised me. It has been a while since I’ve worked with a heavyweight this strong, it would have been in the 1990s or early 2000s when the division was full of powerful guys. We’re coming to fight, we’re not coming there to look pretty with footwork and jabs.”
Fortune is very impressed with Parker (19-0, 16KO), but fees he is still very far from the finished product.
“Parker is a very good fighter, you don’t get to become the No. 1 contender for the world title if you’re not bringing a few things to the table,” Fortune said. “But Parker is far from the finished article. He makes mistakes, and we plan to capitalise on them. The biggest mistake he can make is to underestimate Sol and his power, because at this level, you can lose focus for a split second and the next thing you know, glove hits chin and you’re staring up at the ceiling.”