Wladimir Klitschko has warned Anthony Joshua that long-term success is no simple task in the heavyweight division, but he is backing the IBF, WBO, IBO and WBA champion to deliver.
Joshua defeated Klitschko by knockout in 2017 and has since maintained his perfect winning record, most recently grounding Alexander Povetkin at Wembley last month.
Klitschko dropped Joshua hard in the contest, with the British star rallying in the late rounds to score a stoppage victory in the eleventh round.
The Briton continues to be linked with high-profile fights with rivals Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury, who have each talked up their chances against Joshua, but Klitschko believes the 28-year-old is cut out for a long career at the top.
"We will see how much and how big [Joshua's] desire is to stay successful," said Klitschko. "It's easy to have success for a short period of time but to maintain it for a long time is really challenging.
"I'm a fan of Joshua so, due to his athletic qualities and age, I think he is going to hold the belts for a very long time."
For the time being, Klitschko is looking forward to Wilder's December 1 bout against Fury at Staples Center in Los Angeles - which is tabbed as the biggest heavyweight contest of the year.
Wilder, who on a bronze in the Olympics and holds the WBC world title, was used as a sparring partner by Klitschko. And Fury secured an upset twelve round unanimous decision over Klitschko in November of 2015 to capture the WBA, IBF, WBO, IBO world titles.
"Wilder is a great puncher, he's very quick with his hands," said the Ukrainian. "On the other hand, he is facing an opponent that is awkward. It's going to be really exciting and I'm looking forward to it."