Wladimir Klitschko revealed he wants to see Anthony Joshua successfully defend his IBF heavyweight title in fine style on Saturday.
The undefeated Joshua faces challenger Eric Molina for the title in the Manchester Arena, where Klitschko will be ringside.
A win for Joshua will likely set up a clash with the Ukrainian in April next year, where the WBA super title will also be up for grabs.
"The better Joshua performs, the better it is, because I believe Joshua is right now one of the best men in the heavyweight division," the 40-year-old told Sky Sports.
"The better he performs, the better it is for the fans and also for myself, because I definitely want to fight the better man to get my titles back.”
When Joshua was an up-and-coming fighter in 2014, he sparred with then-champion Klitschko. Dr Steelhammer remarked on how the Brit has morphed into an experienced campaigner in no time at all.
"I think he's got even better since we sparred because he definitely gained more experience," added Klitschko.
"Even in sparring I could see the talent and obviously he was green and not as much experienced when we fought.
"But since that time which was 2014, in the past two years he has gained a lot of experience, so I was definitely expecting him to be better than in the sparring session."