By Steve Kim
Former WBO junior welterweight champion Chris Algieri faces the highly regarded Errol Spence on Saturday night at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, New York. In his corner will be trainer John David Jackson, who doesn't quite believe the hype.
"Listen, Spence is a good prospect, I don't know what you call a prospect any more but he's been managed well. He's been spoon-fed his opponents and he's done what he's supposed to do - look good against opponents who haven't really tested him. No one tested him but they've done the right thing by him,"said the respected cornerman.
To Jackson, Spence (19-0, 16KOs) has only done what is expected of any other young boxer and that his man presents the first real challenge of his career.
"Spence has done well against picked opponents. I think Chris presents a bigger problem for him. Chris has to expose his weak points, neutralize his strong points. It should be a great fight for the public,"said Jackson, who in his day as a prizefighter was a world champion.
"I think in the beginning I was worried about Spence and all the things I heard about him. But I don't really watch a lot of young guys in boxing because they really can't fight. So when I studied him, finally, I saw lot of holes in his offense and his defense. It definitely made me study him more and see what we need to work on for Chris to be victorious."
Say what you will about Aligieri (21-2, 8KOs), he's a seasoned pro having faced the likes of Manny Pacquiao, Ruslan Provodnikov and Amir Khan.
"So this is a kid that's been put in tough, he's been tested and he survived. He didn't win all of them but other than the Pacquiao fight he did very well in the others," Jackson pointed out. "If he fights the way he's supposed to fight he's going to shock people even more."
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.