Anthony Joshua wants to tap into Wladimir Klitschko’s “boxing encyclopedia” brain as he plots his route to becoming the undisputed world heavyweight champion.
Joshua toppled Klitschko in a memorable Wembley battle last year and his attentions have since turned to adding Deontay Wilder's WBC belt to his IBF, WBA and WBO gold.
"If [Klitschko] can give me a little bit of his knowledge, I think it will spur me on to do better than I project," Joshua told Sky Sports.
"I need him on my side, definitely. I have so much respect for him.
"His brain is like a boxing encyclopedia.
"I will always look at [Klitschko], even though I beat him, as the better man because he's done more than me.
"Even though I beat him that night, in terms of his overall career, he's done so much. I will always take my hat off to him, and respect him."
Klitschko's comeback after losing early fights is inspiration for Joshua, who is unbeaten in 21 after beating Joseph Parker last month.
"[Klitschko] was in the era when mistakes were looked at as a way to improve yourself," Joshua said. "He lost [three] times then reigned as heavyweight champion for 10 years.
"That's phenomenal – he must have learned so much.
"When you fail, then you go again, then you fail, then you go again – he built himself to perfection."
Joshua's aim of fighting Wilder with every major belt on the line will be discussed at a meeting next week.
"I'm going to look to meet up with [Wilder's representatives] in New York, get face to face with them, look into the whites of their eyes, and just see if we can make a deal," Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn said.
"We've made an offer that we feel is substantial, if not we're happy to talk about the numbers and look at their ideas as well."
Joshua expressed his annoyance with trash talk from Wilder and Tyson Fury, whose comeback from a two-and-a-half-year absence was confirmed last week.
"When you're a fighter you can't let certain things slide," he said last week.
"Even though I try to keep it professional and I don't want to bite back, I've got that fight instinct. Sometimes you need to give as good as you get.
"I'd rather do it face to face. That's what I'm waiting for. That's what I've always said."