Tony Bellew has admitted his friend Dereck Chisora 32-9 (23) will be up against it when he meets his old opponent Oleksandr Usyk 17-0 (13) on October 31.
Southpaw Usyk, 33, will be having just his second fight at heavyweight after defending his undisputed cruiserweight championship against Bellew by eighth-round knockout in November 2018.
Bellew is ready to help Chisora out in any way he needs but has warned that when the bell rings the 36-year-old British veteran is going to have to do it all himself.
“He’s my friend, he’s like a member of my family,” Bellew told Sky Sports.
“I’m backing him, I’m there for him whatever he needs, whatever he wants, I will be there.
“But believe you me, there is nothing I can do for him on October 31. He’s going to have to do it all himself.
“Believe you me, he has it all to do.
“[Usyk] is the most avoided fighter probably in the world. An amazing fighter.
“If anyone can do it, when their back is against the wall and they are written off by everyone, then Chisora can.
“I’m hoping his big right hand lands, and he gets the job done.
“But this is a hard one. It will be very tough.”
Meanwhile, Usyk sparring partner Dave Allen has predicted a long night for Chisora against the man he labels a “spiteful puncher”.
Speaking to Jim White on talkSPORT, he said sparring Usyk wasn’t exactly fun.
“Well it weren’t the most fun experience I’ve ever had, to be honest with you, I’ve had more fun in my life than getting punched round by him,” Allen said.
“But he is the real deal, absolutely the real deal. The fight for Chisora, for me, is not a foregone conclusion. But in terms of boxing ability, Usyk is on another level altogether.
“But if Dereck clips him, it will quickly level everything up so I’m really intrigued by it.
“But Usyk, possibly the best fighter I have ever shared the ring with.
“He’s going to have a very long night, but it will only take one shot for him to turn it around. But that’s the intriguing part for me because I know that if Dereck hits him, it’s game over.
“But hitting that man is much easier said than done and I was there for two weeks, Dereck has only got 12 rounds!”
Allen admitted he was surprised by the former cruiserweight kingpin’s punching power at heavyweight.
“I expected him to have good footwork and I expected him to be fast, but I didn’t expect him to hit as hard,” Allen said.
“He hit very hard; very sharp and very fast – it’s the ones you don’t see coming that hurt.
“He’s that good and he’s that fast. He hits you on the chin and he’s a spiteful puncher and a very good puncher.”
Allen will face Christian Hammer on the undercard.
“Basically, if I beat Hammer, I put myself in the top 15 in the world,” he said.
“I’ve boxed Dillian Whyte, I’ve boxed Luis Ortiz, I’ve boxed Tony Yoka – I just want to fight the best possible.
“The Hammer fight, if I win, the opportunities are endless.”