When your opponent lasted five rounds against Gennady Golovkin, you know you are facing a seasoned campaigner.
And Sheffield middleweight Adam ‘ Bomber’ Etches will have plenty of respect for Sergey Khomistsky when they box as chief support to Kell Brook’s world title defence on Saturday, at Sheffield Arena.
Khomistsky boxed Golovkin - now reigning WBA and IBO middleweight champion - in 2007 in Germany and lasted longer with the Kazakh specialist than many others. Etches said: “Many people regard Golvokin as one of the best boxers in the world, pound for pound. He is mega. My opponent has fought him, so that tells a story in itself, how tough this kid is.
“This is 100% my toughest fight to date. There are a lot of haters out there who look at me and say he hasn’t fought any one. But after this no-one will be able to say it was an easy fight.
“This kid has been in with everyone and he has beaten half of them to be fair. I just have to concentrate and do a job on him.”
Etches, 24, can’t wait to get in the ring with the 40-year-old Belarusian. “I want to win and win good; produce the goods. I want to stop him and then I can watch Kell.”
Etches thinks his friend Brook will comfortably beat Romanian Jo Jo Dan.
“We are both favourites (with the bookies.) Kell is more of a favourite. I am 2-5, so it is a better return if you bet on me. It is exactly the same odds as Mayweather v Pacquiao.
“I saw Kell training last week, he is looking very sharp, he’s fit, he looks brilliant. When you are world champion you have to be like that every time, because whoever it is you are fighting they are coming to take that belt off you as he did against Shawn Porter, so he can’t afford any slip ups and I don’t think there will be any.
“He seems to have done everything properly and seems ready.
“I can’t wait for Saturday!”
Meanwhile Khomitsky says the only place Etches will stop him is in his dreams, and he’ll give the young Brit a rude awakening when they clash at the Arena.
His record against British fighters is also superb, with victories over Jamie Moore and Frank Buglioni as well as a disputable draw against Nick Blackwell.
“It’s very easy to dream about knocking me out, but very difficult to do,” Khomitsky said. “As soon as the bell rings Etches will realise he’s let his imagination get the better of him. I know he is very young and talented with a big punch. He’ll need more than that against me, though.
“I do not like to make predictions, but I am very motivated for this fight and I have people waiting for me to return to Belarus with a resounding victory.
“The fans are expecting Etches to beat me and I’m happy to be the underdog, but I like to beat the home favourites, I like to beat the champions and I want to return to the top of the world rankings,” he said.
“UK fans know me very well and I like the atmosphere they create. When I start to beat Etches, I think they will start to support me instead of him.”