Justin Fortune, the strength and conditioning coach of eight division champion Manny Pacquiao, does not expect Keith Thurman to back up his big pre-fight talk.
Thurman has boasted of going after Pacquiao, knocking him around with shots and retiring him from the sport.
The 40-year-old boxer will challenge Thurman for the WBA welterweight title on July 20th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Pacquiao will be looking to make a statement of his own, to the critics who believe that he’s no longer the same fighter of year’s past.
Fortune, who expects Thurman to use his legs and move around the ring all night, views Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach as a key component to putting together the strategy to prevent that from happening.
“This is a pre-technical fight so we need Freddie there because his knowledge is what we need. This guy (Thurman) is not going to come forward. It is more of a technical fight absolutely — he won’t go toe-to-toe with Manny. He will run,” Fortune told The Manila Times.
“He (Roach) is the one with knowledge. Freddie has been in this business for 40 years. He trains Manny for 16 years. So Freddie knows more, and he already trained 40 world champions. There’s a reason for that. We need his point of view because he’s in the game longer. Once Broner was hit by Manny. He couldn’t do anything with Manny. So again, we have to find him and that’s why we need Freddie for the preparation and sparring. We need Freddie’s knowledge. We need that technical support of Freddie.
For over 16 years, Roach was the head trainer. Now he’s the co-trainer, with Buboy Fernandez taking the lead role in the corner.
“We are all fine and there is no more issues. We are working together for so long. Freddie is an important part of the team. We’ve been together since 2001 and 2002. We are a team and that’s what it takes. Freddie has brought a lot of knowledge and when we’re together we win,” Fortune said.