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Roach flying in


Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach is scheduled to arrive in the country early next month and conditioning coach Justin Fortune might not be far behind.

Roach’s arrival will signal the most crucial stage of Pacquiao’s preparation for the Nov. 23 duel with unbeaten US puncher Chris Algieri at The Venetian in Macau.

Even though Roach is still in Los Angeles, busy attending to the needs of his other fighters at the Wild Card Boxing Club, Pacquiao is keeping himself preoccupied as well by holding light workouts in General Santos City.

Roach will import sparring partners who are said to be clones of the 5-10 ½ Algieri, fleet-footed and rangy, and the start of these sessions will happen in the second week of October or six weeks before the fight.

At 35 years old, Pacquiao is expected to do a lower number of sparring rounds, Roach said during the kickoff of a six-city promotional tour in Macau late last month.

But it doesn’t mean Roach is sparing the rod and spoiling Pacquiao.

The fact that Roach is leaving the familiar confines of the Wild Card is a sign the multi-awarded cornerman is not taking the 30-year-old Algieri lightly.

“He is fast and tall but we’ll get him,” Roach said.

Aside from Roach and a battery of sparmates, also being lured to come over is Fortune, the former Australian heavyweight and power-lifter who is nursing a medical condition.

If Fortune gets cleared by his doctor to travel and train Pacquiao, the hefty fitness guru will join Roach.

Pacquiao had spoken to Fortune and asked him to help in the training while the fighting congressman was in Macau.