Justin Fortune, the strength and conditioning coach for eight division champion Manny Pacquiao, believes his fighter could take the hard punches of upcoming opponent Lucas Matthysse.
Pacquiao, 39-years-old, will challenge Matthysse for the WBA "regular" welterweight title on July 14 at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The bout will mark Pacquiao's first contest since losing an upset twelve round decision to Jeff Horn in July of 2017.
Fortune, who will work with Pacquiao for this fight, has to avoid the scenario of overtraining and place his focus on a proper strategy.
Matthysse’s last saw action back in January, when he scored an eighth round knockout of Thailand's Tewa Kiram to capture the vacant WBA belt in Inglewood, California.
“Absolutely yes, he can endure it (Matthysse’s punches). So, we need to train smart and change the training shorter and smarter, and much more precise movements," Fortune told the Manila Times.
“It’s a tough fight. Matthysse is a very dangerous guy and he is coming out with a win over the Thai boy. He is a very big puncher. He (Pacquiao) is still fast and very strong. Manny is a workhorse and he has that phenomenal stamina. He is a freak athlete at 39. Just to be smarter in training, it will be just fine and we’ll discuss it."
This will be Pacquiao's first fight without longtime trainer Freddie Roach, who worked with the boxer for 16 years. Pacquiao will be trained by Buboy Fernandez and Nonito Donaire Sr.
Fortune explained that Pacquiao overtrainer for the contest with Horn - but the veteran coach still believes the wrong man was awarded the decision, and the WBO welterweight crown.
“We were over trained a couple of weeks before the fight and he won the fight. The rest of the world knew that he won the fight,” added Fortune. “When you go to someone’s hometown, you need to knock him out.”