Deontay Wilder can make Anthony Joshua "sweat" if he lands a dominant win over Luis Ortiz in their WBC heavyweight title clash in Brooklyn on Saturday [3 March], according to Carl Froch.
Thirty-two-year-old Wilder can take a giant step towards securing a unification clash with the Olympic gold medallist if he overcomes Ortiz in the 40th bout of his professional career.
The American has dominated the build-up to the fight by taunting Joshua, who himself faces Joseph Parker in Cardiff when his IBF and WBA straps will be on the line, as well as the New Zealander's WBO crown, on 31 March.
But former super-middleweight world champion Froch feels that if Wilder can back-up his bravado and pre-fight arrogance with an emphatic victory this weekend it could strike fear into Joshua.
"Deontay Wilder needs to do a proper job on Luis Ortiz," he told Sky Sports. "If he does, Anthony Joshua will be sat there sweating a bit. Wilder should and I hope he does.
"We want to see the very best beat the very best, if they want to get to the very top, and I know Joshua does. If Wilder's power explodes, and he blows Ortiz away, that and his whopping ego will suddenly put a bit of pressure on.
"AJ might have had a couple of moments against Wladimir Klitschko, but let's be honest, 'Wlad' was no spring chicken and hadn't boxed for 15 months. Wilder is younger, fresher and hungrier. Or at least he keeps telling us that. Josh always excites but against Wilder it will be way bigger than the rest.
"That is why I want Wilder to destroy Ortiz. If he does, all of a sudden people won't just be trying to pick which round Josh does it in. Of course, I expect him to win, but it will be a 60-40, maybe even a 50-50 fight."
Ortiz – who was due to face Wilder last November before the clash was postponed after he tested positive for a banned diuretic – represents arguably the sternest test of Wilder's career with the Cuban unbeaten in his 30 fights.
But throughout his 10-year professional career, Wilder has carved out a reputation as a knock-out artist with 38 of his 39 fights failing to go the distance with 19 of those stoppages coming in the opening round.
Joshua has a similarly explosive record, having stopped his opponent in each of his 20 professional bouts since his debut in 2013. The pair are seemingly destined to meet in 2018, though there remain several physical and financial hurdles to clear before it can become a reality.