He's the raging favourite and the talk of Australian boxing but Tim Tszyu has been dismissed as a merely a warm-up fight for ambitious Irishman Dennis Hogan.
Tszyu, with 17 wins - 13 by knockouts - from 17 bouts, will put his unbeaten record on the line against Hogan on Wednesday night in a sellout super welterweight showdown in Newcastle.
Bookmakers have the 26-year-old odds-on to enhance his claims for a world title shot, yet Hogan's camp believes Tszyu is nothing more than a stepping stone for his 36-year-old challenger.
"Hurricane" Hogan's only three defeats have all come in world title fights, a fact his manager Danny Dimas pointed out on Monday.
"Two different classes completely. Dennis has fought people twice as good as Tim," Dimas said.
"So, for us, it's actually a tune-up fight for the next big thing for us.
"So if you're a betting person, I'd be betting for Dennis and making easy money on Wednesday night."
Dimas even accused Tszyu of already bracing for defeat.
"They're obviously a bit scared of losing because in the contract they've asked for a rematch," he said.
"Like, why would you ask for a rematch unless you think you're going to lose?"
But Tszyu's manager Glen Jennings said he'd heard it all before.
"Every single person that gets up on this stage, they always say they the same things," Jennings said.
"They always mention different levels, they always say Tim's not up to it, they're all in the best shape of their life - and they all get beat.
"The numbers speak for themselves.
"Tim Tszyu's the real deal and they're going to find out on Wednesday night how real he is."
No-nonsense Tszyu was typically pragmatic when asked for an assessment of his opponent.
"He's a great fighter. I have no disrespect for him," he said of Hogan.
"He's training like a fighter, does it fulltime and is trying to feed his family.
"I've got all respect for that.
"But when you get in the ring, it's my ring, my world and I'm not going to let anyone out.
"I'm not here to kick back. I'm here to do damage with my fights."
Asked how the fight would finish, Tszyu said: "It doesn't finish. It's gonna be stopped.
"A hundred per cent certain."