Olympic gold medal winner and former world champion Alexander Povetkin (34-1, 24 KOs) considers Anthony Joshua as the biggest challenge of his entire career.
This Saturday night at Wembley in London, Povetkin will challenge Joshua for the WBA, IBF, IBO, and WBO world titles.
When Povetkin faced a prime Wladimir Klitschko for those same titles in 2013, he was dropped four times and lost a one-sided twelve round unanimous decision.
The fight took place during a period where Klitschko ruled the heavyweight division for a decade.
Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs), who also won a gold medal in the Olympics, ended Klitschko's career with an eleven round stoppage in April of 2017. By that point - Klitschko was over 40, coming off a loss to Tyson Fury, and returning from a lengthy layoff.
Since that sole defeat five years ago, Povekin has put together an impressive streak of 8 wins with six of them by knockout.
At 39-years-old, this could be the final world title opportunity for the Russian veteran.
"I would definitely say Joshua is a bigger challenge than Klitschko," Povetkin said to veteran scribe Nick Parkinson.
"Since the fight with Klitschko a lot of time has passed, and I can assure you that I've become stronger, I've become wiser, I've become smarter, so I will definitely treat this fight in a different manner, and more professionally."
Povetkin had been scheduled for a world title shot in May of 2016, against WBC champion Deontay Wilder, but the contest fell out when Povetkin tested positive for a banned substance.
Wilder vs. Joshua is arguably the biggest fight in the entire sport.
Unless proven otherwise, Povetkin views Joshua as the better fighter of the two.
"Both Joshua and Wilder are dangerous, but the only way to prove it is to see their fight. But my personal opinion if you talk about technique is that it is Anthony Joshua," Povetkin said.