Justin Fortune, the strength and conditioning trainer of eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao, gives credit to a smart training camp for the boxer's very impressive return last weekend in Malaysia.
Pacquiao, fighting for the first time since a July 2017 controversial decision loss to Jeff Horn, battered Lucas Matthysse for a seventh round stoppage.
It was Pacquiao's first knockout victory since 2009, when he put away Miguel Cotto in the twelfth round of their welterweight bout.
During the bout with Matthysse, the Filipino superstar dropped the tough Argentinean three times during the action.
Matthysse went down in the third round from an uppercut, again in the fifth from a temple shot, and then he was finished off with another uppercut in the seventh.
“If he trains like that, he (Pacquiao), is going to be pretty much unbeatable,” Fortune told The Manila Times. “Train smart and avoid being overtrained — that Manny Pacquiao is going to beat a lot of people and still a very, very dangerous fighter.”
Fortune explained that Pacquiao needed to make this type of statement to the many critics.
Because of his age, at 39, and his lackluster performance with Horn - there were many who were calling Pacquiao a finished article and were pushing for his retirement.
“Great statement. Manny needed to make a statement,” Fortune said. “He is fast and strong. He is pretty unbeatable. I just saw that Manny is in control of the fight for the whole time.”
Fortune was not alone. He also gave praise to the boxer's new head trainer, Buboy Fernandez, who took over after Pacquiao parted ways with Freddie Roach earlier this year.
“Of course, this is [a team effort]. This is a very much team effort this time and great training camp absolutely. Me, Buboy and Noy (Neri) — we talked among ourselves, see what works and doesn’t work,” said Fortune.