Justin Fortune says Adrien Broner will quit
Justin Fortune

Justin Fortune says Adrien Broner will quit

Joaquin Henson (The Philippine Star) - January 20, 2019 - 12:00am

LAS VEGAS – WBA welterweight champion Sen. Manny Pacquiao’s Australian strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune minced no words in calling Adrien Broner “a dog and a coward who beats up women” so when the challenger from Cincinnati feels the Filipino icon’s power in their scheduled 12-round title bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena this morning (Manila time), he’ll quit.

“I don’t think Broner will engage,” said Fortune who spent nearly a month working with Pacquiao in Manila and General Santos City before the team opened camp in Los Angeles. “Even if Broner took his training seriously and comes in 100 percent, there’s no way he wins. Manny’s two times stronger and 10 times faster. He won’t know how to deal with Manny’s speed and power. He’s never fought anyone quite like Manny. (Marcos) Maidana put him down twice and Manny’s stronger than Maidana. Broner’s not fighting Maidana or (Shawn) Porter. He’s fighting Manny.”

Fortune said at 40, Pacquiao is stronger than ever. “When Manny hits you with a jab, you’ll feel it,” he said. “Even in fights where Manny lost, his opponents finished looking like they’d been in a war. But you still can’t underestimate Broner. He’s a counterpuncher so he likes to pick his shots. Manny can’t be careless.”

Fortune said he expects the crowd in the stadium to be predominantly pro-Pacquiao. “Broner doesn’t sell tickets, Manny does,” said Fortune. “It’s not just the Filipinos who support Manny. If the arena sells out (capacity is 16,800), Broner will be lucky if 4,000 to 5,000 fans come out for him.”

Broner’s family is coming in full force. His girlfriend Arienne Gazaway will be at ringside with his seven children, Adrien, Jr., Adrieon, Admire, Armani, Kenyatta Smith, Na’rya Ross and Aalayah. The children have three different mothers but father-figure and co-trainer Mike Stafford said the last two are Broner’s with his current girlfriend. Broner’s twin Andre, brothers Obryan and Levi Tolbert and sister Marie will also be in the venue with his mother Dorothy and step-father Thomas Knight. But the ‘hood won’t be as loud as the Filipino community in the audience.

Fortune said Pacquiao’s sniffles the last few days won’t be a problem. “He ran under the rain once in LA and twice in Vegas but I don’t think that’s why he’s got a cold,” said Fortune. “I think it’s the hundreds of people who’ve gone to his hotel suite, shaking hands, talking to him. I’ve checked with Dr. Margaret Goodman (president of Voluntary Anti-Doping Association or VADA) what’s on the list of prohibited drugs or medicine. We don’t want Manny taking medicine for his cold and it turns out it contains something banned by VADA. I’ve gone through the long list and it looks like Benadryl is cleared so it’s suggested for Manny to take 325 mg of the medicine. At least, it clears his nose for the fight.”

Pacquiao’s physician Dr. Regina Bagsic of Cardinal Santos Medical Center is in town to watch the fight. 

Rep. Eric Pineda, who has been a close Pacquiao associate for years, said in 2006, the champion’s condition was far worse than just nursing a cold. “His tonsils were swollen and he couldn’t take medication because of VADA but he went on to face (Erik) Morales in their third fight at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas in that condition,” recalled Pineda. “Manny decided to end it early because he wasn’t feeling well. Manny won by a third round knockout. He later told me every time Morales hit him in the head, it was a hammer banging. So if it’s just a cold, Manny has fought under worse conditions and won.”

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