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Pacquiao gears up

MANNY Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao’s training takes up a notch with the arrival yesterday of Australian conditioning coach Justin Fortune, who started working with the Filipino icon yesterday in General Santos City.

Fortune, the former Australian power-lifting titleholder and longtime heavyweight campaigner, flew in with Pacquiao’s adviser Mike Koncz from Los Angeles.

Fortune’s arrival came eight weeks before Pacquiao faces unbeaten Chris Algieri in a defense of the world welterweight crown on Nov. 23 in Macau.

Koncz said head trainer Freddie Roach is coming in on Oct. 8 and will head straight to training camp accompanied by two sparring partners.

Even before Fortune’s arrival, Pacquiao has been reporting to the gym to get ready for the tough grind that Roach is expected to lay down beginning the second week of October.

This is the first time Fortune is working with Pacquiao in the Philippines as he had previously spend many times with the fighting congressman in Los Angeles.

Fortune was Pacquiao’s fitness guru from 2003 until 2007 and he made his return only this year as Pacquiao was whipping himself into form for the rematch with Tim Bradley last April. (Nick Giongco)