OK, Manny Pacquiao has had some tension in camps before, right? When he and the wife weren’t getting along so well, and when Alex Ariza, his (ex) strength and conditioning coach and his trainer, Freddie Roach, were jousting over territory, there has been drama in Manny’s camps. But, I’m beginning to wonder if that is by design, and not by accident, with the word that Pacquiao has invited his old strength coach Justin Fortune to take Ariza’s place.
You might or might not recall, Fortune and Roach have feuded bitterly in the not so distant past. I am not privy to where that relationship is, if they’ve hugged it out, or what. But unless those two men have succeeded in burying some sharp hatchets, I could, concievably, foresee some more drama being manufactured in Pacquiao’s camp ahead of his Nov. 23 bout with Brandon Rios.
The Aussie Fortune, who fought pro as a heavyweight, from 1990-2001, and came back for a one-off in 2009, was all good with Roach in 2005. They worked on Manny together, and had business dealings with each other. By April 2007, Roach and Fortune parted ways, supposedly amicably, with Roach agreeing to send some overflow clients Fortune’s way. But amicable turned ugly a month later, with Roach saying Fortune jumped ship without telling him face to face. It was said that a seed of discontent was planted when Roach trained Oscar De La Hoya to face Floyd Mayweather and had Fortune work with Pacman (seen with Roach in Chris Farina-Top Rank photo). Roach said Fortune didn't hand over a chunk of pay owed to him. In 2010, Roach was quoted in a story saying that along with James Toney, one other fighter of his had been busted for using illegal PEDs: Fortune. Fortune said he would sue Roach. It looks like that threat petered out, and it looks like maybe, time has healed some wounds.
But if that is the case, will no one pick the scabs? Readers, weigh in….will all be well in Pacquiao camp with Roach and Fortune reunited? Will it feel so good?
Follow Woods on Twitter here.
Of the World Heavyweight Champions Who is The Best?