Exclusive with Manny Pacquiao’s coach Justin Fortune: “‘Freak athlete’ Pacquiao ready in eight weeks for ‘50-50’ Terrance Crawford showdown”

(Photo by Ezra Acayan/Getty Images)

Could we get one of the greatest of all time in Manny Pacquaio fight  Terrence Crawford this year? Could we see some iconic rematches against Mayweather and Ricky Hatton?

Manny Pacquaio’s Strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune believes Pacquaio can beat Terrence Crawford in just eight weeks if the fight was booked. He also reflected on the iconic bout between him and Mayweather and what almost led to the end of his career.

Speaking to Lucky Block, Fortune said:

  • Forget Pacquiao vs Mayweather II, I want Pacquiao vs Crawford!
  • Manny Pacquiao can get in shape in just eight weeks for Crawford!
  • A Ricky Hatton vs Manny Pacquiao rematch will be better than most boxing matches today
  • If Pacquiao didn’t hurt his shoulder, he would have beaten Floyd Mayweather!
  • Pacquiao almost partied his career and life away between 2006-08, but Jesus Christ saved him
  • Freddie Roach blamed me for Pacquiao’s loss against Ugas

Forget Pacquiao vs Mayweather II, I want Pacquaio vs Crawford!

“I don’t want to see Pacquiao-Mayweather 2, that would have been a great fight around a year or two after the first fight, when it was fresh in people’s memory, I’d rather see Pacquiao return against Crawford, that’s a massive payday and guess what, it’s a 50-50 fight. Manny has a 50 percent chance of winning because he’s still a freak athlete and it wouldn’t take much to pull him into shape. Even though he’s slowed down a bit, he’s still twice as fast as anyone out there. The power he has is a gift from god, he hasn’t lost his power. Manny has never ducked anyone, he’s always fought the best, and not saying Mayweather’s not the best but he’s old, I’d prefer Manny to come back and prove himself against a current world champion like Crawford.”

Manny Pacquiao can get in shape in just eight weeks for Crawford!

“Pulling him back into shape wouldn’t be a problem, we’d have to work on his explosivity and speed to bring it back to where it was. Getting him back into shape would not be hard because he’s always in shape, he used to come in camp at 50 percent anyway. He was a gym rat. I could pull him back into shape for Crawford in eight weeks. Of course we’ll need to know when to push him or pull back because of his age. We’d need to back off to avoid burning him out. If Manny comes back he’ll make the decision on the whim, he might wake up and say ‘I want to fight in eight weeks’.”

A Ricky Hatton vs Manny Pacquaio rematch will be better than most boxing matches today

“Hatton will need to lose 200 pounds if he’s going to fight Manny in an exhibition. But I’ll tell you this, an exhibition between Manny and Ricky would be better than most boxing matches that we get today, they wouldn’t be able to hold back. In my book that would be better than most of the real fights that are put on now because they are full of fight and they’re legends. It would be good fun and no malice. The exhibitions that Manny, Ricky, Mayweather and say Marquez could put on together would be better than the real fights of today and that’s sad to say.” 

If Pacquiao didn’t hurt his shoulder, he would have beaten Floyd Mayweather!

“Manny’s shoulder was torn going in against Mayweather, it was torn by five millimeters, which is a lot. Had we had him take a shot to deaden the shoulder, he would have torn that shoulder clean off the bone and his career would have been finished, so it’s a good thing he didn’t get the approval to take the shot to deaden the shoulder so he could fight.  He gave it his best shot, but around the fifth round, he came back to the corner and said my shoulder is done, so all he could do was survive. I knew that problem must have been a significant problem because Manny has never come back to the corner and complained ever. When he said it was done, it was definitely done. Had that not happened that would have been a different outcome. He was faster than Floyd and awkward and he was strong as shit. If they decide to rematch now I’d back Manny because he hasn’t lost that explosiveness. But I don’t see Floyd agreeing to it.” 

Pacquiao almost partied his career and life away between 2006-08, but Jesus Christ saved him

“His losses came from bad camps with really bad people around him. Manny would let people into camp and they were bad people. They were leeches after money. Around 2006-08 he was partying too much like every other champion, but he became a born again Christian. But Freddie used to complain about it and I’d ask Freddie ‘why – he goes to bible class, he doesn’t drink or smoke or gamble, he’s the perfect fighter’. I said to Freddie ‘are you a moron?’ When he was reborn it extended his career by another ten years. On the path he was on in the mid 2000s he would have been done in a few years, he wouldn’t have been able to sustain that lifestyle. But it extended his career and it gave us ten more years of pay days. I don’t know why Freddie didn’t like it, maybe it was because Freddie’s an atheist. He stopped with the partying and the booze and stopped spending ridiculous amounts of money and to this day I don’t know what Freddie was complaining about.” 

Freddie Roach blamed me for Pacquiao’s loss against Ugas

“Freddie blamed me for Manny’s last fight against Ugas. I went off to watch Ugas get his hands wrapped, when I left there was a masseuse there and I said do not touch my fighter, Manny’s never had a massage before a fight in 22 years, don’t touch him. Why would you touch a fighter before a fight? I come back and he’s massaging Pacquiao. I said, ‘what are you doing, he’d be too relaxed and you’re releasing toxins into the body that should not be there and it’s out of routine, he’s never done it in 20 years’. Manny lost and Freddie of course won’t take the blame for anything, so he blamed me instead for what happened. No-one gets a massage before a fight and it affected his performance. When I walked in and saw it I screamed some expletives that would embarrass my mum.”