Veteran world champion Bernard Hopkins admits he is stepping into the unknown when he faces the granite-fisted Sergey Kovalev in Atlantic City on November 8.
Just two months shy of his 50th birthday, Hopkins will defend his IBF and WBA world titles against the current WBO champion in an eagerly-awaited unification match.
Many feel that Hopkins will meet his match against 31-year-old Kovalev who has blasted out 23 of his 26 opponents in the paid ranks, including Welshman Nathan Cleverly who succumbed inside four rounds.
But Hopkins insists he is happy to face anyone and believes Kovalev will need more than a big punch to beat him.
"I've been in the game for almost three decades. I look for more of what a guy brings to a gunfight other than bullets...The sweet science is not based on only one thing you can do particularly well," said Hopkins 55-6-2 (32KOs).
"If he comes in the game thinking a punch is all he'll need, he might be right, so you should watch. I'm walking a tightrope hundreds of feet in the air. He crushes people. Only three or four people survive his hammer.
"There's no pressure on me but one thing that is on Bernard Hopkins - that no other fighter really has to do deal with because they've never been in my situation is - how I continue to keep making history. Anybody at the right time and the right place can get knocked out. It is his job to do what others try to do. It is my job to do what I've been doing.
"It's the pressure of the unknown. The unknown is the reward that comes after taking on such a challenge. For me it's about never taking anyone lightly. I'm ready mentally and physically for this challenge, come November 8.
"I believe the difference comes in the execution. If you think about it too much beforehand it will keep you up at night. You can't worry about things you can't change. I prepare to do what I know how to do best. That rule of code has never betrayed me.
Russian Kovalev, who has stopped his last nine opponents, knows what is at stake if he can be the man to find the extraordinary reign of Hopkins. But despite being 18 years younger than the American superstar, he is giving Hopkins the utmost respect.