Kostya Tszyu arrived in Manchester last night with a stark warning for Ricky Hatton ahead of their June 5 light-welterweight super-fight.
The Australian IBF champion believes his vast experience at the top of the sport will make the difference in one of the most eagerly awaited contests in years.
Tszyu has held a version of the world title for six years and beaten superstars like Julio Cesar Chavez, Zab Judah and Miguel Angel Gonzalez.
Tszyu said: “Ricky has fought some great fighters but he will find that I am another level above them.
“It is a great challenge for Ricky and he has got guts to step up and take the challenge. I have fought some great champions and I respect all my opponents.”
Tszyu has set up camp in Bolton with his dozen-strong entourage which is a mark of how seriously he is taking the challenge of Hatton.
The 35-year-old believes he is now in better form than ever having recently returned from a near two-year injury absence with a crushing win over rival Sharmba Mitchell.
Tszyu is relishing the big occasion with sold-out signs up outside the MEN Arena venue for weeks and the noisy reputation of Hatton’s supporters preceding them.
But he insisted the intimidating atmosphere held no fears, adding: “If the fans are crazy it will make a great night but I am sure they understand and love boxing.
“When I fought Julio Cesar Chavez in Phoenix in front of 15,000 screaming Mexicans it was so bad I never even waited for the decision.
“We are both sportsmen and the Manchester fans have a chance to show the world how good they are.”