HEAVYWEIGHT Michael Hunter believes Oleksandr Usyk poses a genuine threat to unified champ Anthony Joshua.
Hunter suffered his only career defeat to date against the undefeated Ukrainian in April 2017 and has warned AJ about his ability.
Discussing Usyk's talents with Sky Sports, Hunter, 33, said: "He is fleet-footed and defensive-minded.
"It will be very difficult to actually get a win over Usyk in a certain fashion.
"Joshua will have to have a concrete game-plan and follow it. It will be a very hard task.
"If he pulls it off? Give the man credit. Because this style of fighting, for him, is the most difficult."
Joshua, 31, must avoid losing to Uysk, 34, at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday to retain his IBF, WBA and WBO titles.
Ex-Olympic champ Usyk has won all 18 of his professional fights to date and boasts wins against Derek Chisora and Tony Bellew.
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He is also the only undisputed cruiserweight in history, dominating the division before making the step up to heavyweight level in 2019.
Hunter added: "Even though he doesn't focus on hitting hard, he has enough power to absorb and withstand punches.
"He is bulking up and he is taller than me, he has some length to him.
"He will do exceptionally well. He hasn't taken any Ls [defeats] and hasn't been in any trouble since he's been pro.
"A lot of people are saying he hasn't performed to the best of his abilities. Against Joshua, he will have to.
"He has done it a few times before, like at the Olympics. He is a Grade-A boxer. Joshua is still learning on the job, going through experiences.
"There is an element of surprise because we don't know what type of Joshua will come out.
"We know what type of Usyk will come out, we just don't know at what level."
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