Manny Pacquiao appears to have taken a swipe at Chris Algieri after describing his next opponent as an "okay fighter".
The unbeaten American pulled off a major upset in his last fight, outpointing Ruslan Provodnikov in June to earn a shot at Pacquiao for the WBO welterweight title in Macau on November 23.
Algieri overcame two early knockdowns and fought with a badly swollen eye for much of the fight, but the Filipino superstar was not overly impressed with his performance.
"I saw his fight with Ruslan," Pacquiao said. "He took a lot of bad punches from Ruslan but he's tough.
"He can box. I'm not saying he's really good but he's not bad. He's okay.”
In his April rematch with Timothy Bradley, ‘The Pac Man’ claimed a convincing decision win, but faces a different proposition in the form of the 5’10” Algieri, who boxed cleverly off the back foot against Provodnikov.
"The biggest challenge for me is to fight another tall guy. I have to use my speed and footwork for this fight," said Pacquiao.
Algieri again will be a major underdog ahead of his meeting with the 35-year-old multi-weight champion, one of the sport's biggest names.
He knows there cannot be a repeat of his sluggish start against the Russian.
"First round I made a mistake," said Algieri. "Paid for it for the next 11-and-a-half rounds. Got a little too aggressive too early against a very dangerous guy."
Freddie Roach, trainer of Pacquiao and Provodnikov, feels Algieri was fortunate to gain a point verdict, but respects his ring skills.
"It surprised me because I actually think Ruslan won that fight. (Algieri) got beat up a little bit," he said.
"Algieri has a good reach advantage and we're going to have to get past that and his jab. That will be our biggest problem. We have ways to do that."
Pacquiao has taken on a political career in recent years and his busy life outside boxing includes his latest role as player-coach for a Philippines basketball team.
Roach carefully manages his workload ahead of fights and insists his love of basketball will not prove a distraction.
"We came to an agreement that four weeks before a fight he will stop playing because of injuries. We negotiated that deal a long time ago," he said.
"He's always busy. I don't think it's a problem."