Exclusive Interview: Justin Fortune

By Brad Cooney


Exclusive Interview: Justin Fortune

Boxingtalk sat down with both Freddie Roach, and Manny Pacquiao's strength and conditioning coach, Justin Fortune. Read Boxingtalk's interview with Freddie Roach already posted below. Boxingtalk was interested in getting Justin Fortune's assessment on Manny's performance against Oscar Larios. Fortune spent many days getting Manny prepared for the big fight in Manila against Larios.

BT - Justin, what is your assessment on Manny's peformance against Oscar Larios ?

JF - I thought Manny did well enough to win, I thought he would have finished him off a lot sooner than he did. Larios came to fight, but Larios is not in the same league as Manny Pacquiao. Manny got wobbled in the 3rd round, I saw that but honestly I thought Manny could have finished this guy off, I don't know why he didn't.

BT - Justin do you feel that Manny may have done a little bit better if there were less distractions ?

JF - Manny is HUGE back in The Philippines, and that's a distraction. Manny is like an IDOL status back over there, and that can make a hell of a lot of distractions. There were distractions yes, but Manny came, he fought, and he won.

BT - Manny did get wobbled a little bit in that 3rd round, did that surprise you ?

JF - Yes, it was very surprising. I was surprised, but Larios is no bum. Manny lost his focus for a minute there, and he got tagged, but he shook it off, and went on and finished strong. Manny ended up knocking Larios down a few times, so yea, it was a good win for Manny.

BT - Now you guys turn your sights on Erik Morales....

JF - ...Cutting in - Erik Morales talks shit saying look how Pacquiao looked against Larios. Well I will tell you, we have a much, much different game-plan for Erik Morales than we did with Oscar Larios. Take nothing away from Oscar Larios, but Erik Morales is a whole different ball-game. Morales is talking a lot of shit, he's going do do this, he's going to do that, but we'll see. Manny will be in much better condition, and there will be much less distractions.

BT - Justin, it seems to me that there is some genuine bad blood developing between the two camps.

JF - Morales is the one talking all of the bullshit, not us. All of the sudden Morales has a bug up his ass, and flying off left, right, and center. Manny won't talk like that, it's not his style. Manny talks with his fists, and Morales got the shit beat out of him last time, so let's do it again.

BT - Why do you think Morales is talking all of this smack, do you think it was because he was beaten so soundly last time ?

JF - Usually people talk that kind of shit when they are scared. It's human nature to talk shit when you're actually worried about getting bashed again, which is fair enough (laughing).

BT - 130lbs or bust right ?

JF - Yep, that's it. Erik is coming to fight, and we can never, ever, ever take this guy lightly. Erik is an extremely dangerous fighter no matter how much smack he likes to talk.

BT - Justin, Pac fans are starving for a rematch with Manny and Barrera, do you think it will ever happen?

JF - All of us are starving for that one. Barrera is fighting Rocky Juarez in September, Barrera should be worried about that one. It's what the people demand, so let's hope we can do it again.

BT - Do you think Manny would knock out Barrera again Justin ?

JF - I don't believe it would be a close out like that last fight. I see Barrera preparing much better for a rematch against Pacquiao. It's very difficult to keep up with Pacquiao's speed, he's very very fast. People don't realize how fast Manny is.

BT - Justin you have been working with fighters for a pretty long time now. Have you ever seen anybody that can hit as hard as Manny can in that weight class ?

JF - Manny can really crack, and he has speed. I tell you who can really punch in that division too, is his brother Bobby. Bobby can freaking punch, but Manny has the speed. I worked with Bobby on the mits, and when he hits them I am like "Oh shit". (laughs)

BT - Talk about Rey "Boom Booom" Bautista.

JF - Look Rey is just a kid, but man he's stuck in that mode of just loading up everytime he throws a punch, and it opens him up to get hit with punches. Rey just needs to relax and throw a few combinations, but Jesus Christ he doesn't have to kill everyone with every fucking punch (laughs). Rey just see's red, and away he goes! (laughs).

BT - Justin thanks for the update.


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