Anthony Joshua believes Alexander Povetkin will represent the second-toughest fight of his career as he returns to Wembley for the first time since stopping Wladimir Klitschko in 2017.
Despite continued talk about a meeting with Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury, world heavyweight champion Joshua is stepping into the ring again to face Povetkin, who boasts a 34-1 record and has not lost since Klitschko secured a unanimous decision against him five years ago.
Like Joshua, Povetkin also possess an Olympic gold medal and the Briton considers the Russian a serious threat to his WBO, IBF and WBA straps in his 22nd professional fight.
Asked whether Povetkin was the second-toughest fight of his career, Joshua: replied: "Yes, definitely.
"Klitschko [was a] good challenger, we came, had a lot of respect for each other, got a good fight together and we performed. The sport of boxing won that night because we put on a good show.
Povetkin same type of fight
"We've been away for a while, we're back now with Alexander Povetkin and I'm expecting the same type of fight.
"Skills apart, technique apart, I think we've both got a big heart and we can dig deep. That always turns up for a good fight.
"We both showed that against Klitschko. We both dug deep, stayed in there and we're going to do the same again Saturday night – put our skills on the line. I think the one who's toughest will come out victorious."
Joshua already has another Wembley date booked in for 2019, when a bout with either Wilder or Fury could come to fruition.
"I'm not one to talk about fights too much," added the 28-year-old.
"There was a lot of talk around the heavyweight division, which springs up all sorts of names.
"But, ultimately, Povetkin is one of my toughest challengers to date, so that's where my focus has been throughout training for the fight."