David Haye has warned his protege George Groves that Paul Smith will be a harder fight for him tonight than James DeGale was in May.
Groves was impressive in edging the Olympic gold medalist via majority decision at the O2 Arena in London earlier this year to add the British super-middleweight title to his own Commonwealth belt.
Tomorrow he defends those titles against ex-British champion Smith at Wembley Arena and former WBA heavyweight champion Haye - Groves' mentor, friend and former training partner and promoter - has warned the unbeaten 23-year-old to beware his Liverpudlian opponent.
Recently-retired Haye told Press Association Sport: "I'll be at Wembley for the fight. It is a big test for George but if he can transfer what he's been doing in the gym he'll have a good night.
"I think this is a harder fight than the DeGale fight because that was a strategic fight but this is more physically gruelling. Paul brings a lot to the table in terms of experience and physical ability so we're expecting a tough fight.
"But George has been looking really good in the gym."
Groves sees things differently, though.
"It's more of a 'fight' fight, it's going to be more physical," he said.
"I don't for one second think Paul Smith is as good as James DeGale or will pose as many problems as James DeGale did but he's going to be a tough task for me. It's one I definitely can't take lightly.
"For me, it's important to win this fight and win it well. I've got to win it in style and as well as I can do. I put a lot of pressure on myself in that respect. But there's never a question of me losing my '0'.
"I will never let myself be beaten. But I want to do win in a manner that befits what I hope to go on to achieve."
Despite beating DeGale in May - having also beaten his old club-mate as amateurs - Groves' name remains intrinsically linked with his outspoken rival.
Yet the likeable Hammersmith fighter is happy to entertain thoughts of a third instalment.
"I feel that fight will certainly happen again," he said.
"What's important for me is to improve as a fighter and do that by fighting someone else, with a different style.
"If he keeps on winning - and every time he gets in the ring, believe me, I'm hoping he does win - the fight will come around again and it'll be 10 times bigger, I believe.
"We went on a great journey last time. The fans enjoyed it - some are asking for it again, some are saying 'you've bashed him up enough times now, you don't need to do it again'.
"But in a year or two when we're both putting world titles on the line, if he can get to that level, then yes, of course, we'll happily do it again.
"It's always good when you have two Britons in the ring, especially two Londoners. It's a great storyline."
Groves is set to top the bill at Wembley tonight alongside Scotsman Ricky Burns, who takes on exciting Australian brawler Michael Katsidis for the interim WBO lightweight title.Tags: David Haye , George Groves , Paul Smith , Groves-Smith , Groves vs Smith