Jai Opetaia, Australia's only current male boxing world champion, has a warning for Liam Wilson.
Wilson will fight overwhelming Mexican favourite Emanuel Navarrete for the vacant WBO super featherweight title in Phoenix on Saturday (AEDT).
Opetaia was written off too before his stoic defeat of Latvian champion Mairis Briedis earned him the IBF and The Ring cruiserweight belts on the Gold Coast last year.
With George Kambosos relinquishing his belts last year and Tim Tszyu's title shot delayed until March it means Opetaia remains the only current Australian male boxing world champion.
Wilson can change that though and Opetaia is backing his former amateur mate, on one condition.
"If he's prepared for it then he's got it, but if not it'll be a tough day at the office," Jai Opetaia told AAP.
"Champions are born in the gym so I hope he's done the hard work to earn it."
He and Wilson, who has been based in Washington for eight weeks preparing to fight, travelled to Kazakhstan together for an amateur world championship and share a mutual respect.
"But we've never sparred," Opetaia smiled.
"He weighs about the same as my left leg."
Gold Coast-based Opetaia hopes Wilson brings the strap back to Queensland and earns a well-deserved profile boost, much like the cruiserweight is striving for himself.
Opetaia's belts were won the hard way, the Sydney product breaking his jaw twice but still beating Briedis over 12 bloody rounds.
His jaw is healed but Opetaia will undergo minor shoulder surgery in coming weeks and is eyeing a first defence against Polish contender Mateusz Masternak in June.
But many others have called the 27-year-old out, something that's beginning to irk Opetaia.
"They're at the back end (of their careers) but I'm just about to hit my prime," he said.
"They're really underestimating me; I am a whole better fighter than I was in my title fight."
A defence on home soil is the ideal outcome but Opetaia can see the benefit of fighting in the United Kingdom, or even Masternak's backyard.
"It's a business and I'll fight wherever; I'd love to go over to England and put some respect on my name," he said.
"They throw my name around like I'm some bum and it's eating me up to be honest.
"I want to go over there and let them know that if they call me out, there's consequences."