Pacman re-hires Fortune
Fighter of the Decade Manny Pacquiao is bringing back his first strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune to replace Alex Ariza, who had earlier been fired by celebrated trainer Freddie Roach.
Fortune, who left Pacquiao following a disagreement with Roach some years ago, paving the way for the entry of Ariza, set up his own Fortune Gym in Los Angeles and was doing reasonably well before the Filipino ring icon decided to re-unite with the former Australian heavyweight contender.
Fortune is expected to arrive next Tuesday and will proceed to General Santos City, where Pacquiao will train.
After failing to get any response to his telephone calls and text messages, Ariza accepted an offer to train Brandon Rios, who battles Pacquiao on Nov. 24 in Macau.
Meantime, Pacquiao steps up his training for his World Boxing Organization International welterweight title fight against Rios when he spars with Ghana’s undefeated International Boxing Federation Continental Africa welterweight champion and newly crowned IBF International welterweight king Fredrick Lawson at his MP Towers Gym on Tuesday.
It will be the first serious sparring session for Pacquiao, who last week sparred with General Santos townmate Marlon Alta after his South Korean sparring partner apparently had a difference with his manager and failed to show up.
Lawson, who is ranked No. 5 in the IBF Intercontinental ratings, won the IBF title with a 12-round decision over Georgia’s strongman Georgi Ungiadze in what was described as “a rumble” at the Jubilee Pool House in the Ghananian capital of Accra.
Media reports from Ghana said Ungiadze entered the ring to the tumultuous chants of the accompanying small but noisy entourage of fans from Eastern Europe, who reside in Ghana and the neighboring West African countries.
Ungiadze threw every punch he knew from the book and succeeded in pushing his arch-rival Lawson, nicknamed “Sugar Ray” and at times referred to as “Marvelous” in a tribute to his Marvin Hagler skills, to the neutral corner.
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