Alongside Freddie Roach and Buboy Fernandez, Justin Fortune has been one of the key coaches guiding the evolution of all-time great fighter Manny Pacquiao over the last two decades in the United States.
The former fighter-turned-trainer Fortune believes the 42-year-old Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) will turn back the clock and beat the heavily-favored Errol Spence Jr. (27-0, 21 KOs) in their Aug. 21 FOX Sports pay-per-view showdown in Las Vegas.
“It’s a good fight. Spence is a hell of a fighter, but Pacquiao is on a different level,” Fortune told Ellie Seckbach of ESNews. “Pacquiao is a different animal. Spence is very, very good. I don’t think he’s as strong as Pacquiao. He’s strong, but he’s not ‘Manny strong.’ And I’m sure he ain’t ‘Manny fast.’ Manny is still incredibly fast [for his age].
“[The fight] ends in a stoppage. It’s the volume of Pacquiao’s punches and the ferocity and the speed and the power. [Errol] won’t lay down but he’s going to take a beating. He’ll dish out as much as he gets. Pacquiao has been there before. It’s the biggest fight of the year. It dwarfs Wilder vs. Fury III.”
The WBC and IBF welterweight champion Spence is already listed as a -400 favorite in some sportsbooks.
Spence will sport 11 years in youth, five inches in reach and four inches of height against Pacquiao.
Pacquiao has strung three straight wins against Lucas Matthysse, Adrien Broner and Keith Thurman following a controversial loss to Jeff Horn in 2017. The future Hall of Fame fighter has not fought since July 2019.
Spence returned last December after recovering for a year from a near-fatal car crash to score a unanimous decision over Danny Garcia.
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com