A boxing trainer is defending unbeaten American Chris Algieri from critics who believe he is not a good enough challenger for Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao.
In an interview with On the Ropes Boxing Radio, trainer John Scully, who is also a former light-heavyweight boxer, said Algieri earned his shot at Pacquiao with his "tremendous" performance against Russian brawler Ruslan Provodnikov in his previous fight.
Algieri was the underdog against the hard-hitting Provodnikov, but managed to recover from two early knockdowns and grind out a decision victory to become the new WBO light-welterweight champion.
"I think Chris showed a tremendous and impressive amount of grit, toughness, poise, heart and skills and perseverance the last time out," Scully said.
"That fight alone makes him as deserving as anyone else in the world right now," he added.
Scully admitted that he was surprised that so many people are not impressed with Algieri, considering how he fought Provodnikov.
"It isn't always about the biggest names or the most famous names or the particular guy that you like to see," he reminded. "For me, the kid earned the fight in the greatest manner, and he's getting it. End of story."
When asked if Pacquiao should have chosen another opponent, Scully merely reiterated his point.
"Personally, I think Algieri put on a great and unexpected performance over an extremely dangerous opponent, and came through with flying colors," he said. "He showed so much in terms of resilience, boxing ability, and calm under pressure."
"His style and enthusiasm and grit alone makes him a very worthy opponent in my eyes."
Some are concerned that Algieri's relative lack of popularity will affect the pay-per-view sales of the fight, which already faces an uphill climb as it will be held in Macau instead of Las Vegas.
Scully admitted that he does not "really follow the business side of things," but expressed confidence in Pacquiao's promoter, Bob Arum.
"I can always assume a man like Bob Arum knows exactly what he's doing and that there's got to be a method behind the madness," he said.