Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury and the rest of the heavyweight division hold no fear for Anthony Joshua after he came through torrid preparations to score a brutal knockout victory over Alexander Povetkin.
Joshua was wobbled with a left hook at the end of round one that left him with a bloodied nose but came through some heavy weather at Wembley to clinically floor Povetkin twice in round seven.
It marked a sixth successful world title defence for the IBF, WBA and WBO champion, improving his perfect professional record to 22 wins, with 21 knockouts after Joseph Parker lasted the 12-round distance in Cardiff last time out.
WBC king Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury - the former undisputed champion, who was scathing in his assessment Joshua's weekend work - have December 1 confirmed as the date for their keenly anticipated showdown, with the prospect of Joshua taking on the victor in his next Wembley outing on April 13 next year.
Previous negotiations with Wilder's team hit the buffers and Joshua recognised Povetkin as a "banana skin" in his quest to become unified heavyweight division, particularly after he grappled flu symptoms in the build-up.
"I've been feeling mashed up for the whole training camp. I've been ill this past week," he said.
"I was thinking, 'if this guy catches me with a sweet shot…'. You know, when you feel like a heavy gust of wind can knock you over.
"In the car on the way here, you know when you're thinking [you want] 'one more sleep'. But I've been through this feeling a million times in training camp.
"That's why, when you see me in the ring I don't look hyped up. I do it a million times in training.
"I've got no worry in the ring any more. I'm calm, relaxed. I went in to fight Povetkin ill, no problem. Injuries? No problem.
"I just went in there with no fear. The only fear I had was in myself – am I fit enough, am I strong enough at this present time, is my mind in the right place?
"I can really look forward in a positive way to the next camp because this camp was very, very hard."
Joshua's composure remained intact amid Povetkin's early success, even admitting the older, smaller challenger's punch power took him by surprise.
The 28-year-old acknowledged such experiences are part of him still learning on the job under the guidance of esteemed trainer Robert McCracken.
"I've not found that perfect style, but I've found a style that's working at the minute," he said, while accepting not being the finished article is part of the appeal of a Wilder showdown.
"Someone asked me, is it my vulnerability that makes things exciting? Yeah, for sure because I'm still learning but I'm good enough to get the outcome I want as well.
"I always think about that one punch. No one can beat me skill-for-skill, I don't think, but it's just that one punch. I'd hate for that to be the reason why I lose."
Given the tiresome nature of the speculation surrounding them both, the impression is Joshua would particularly loathe Wilder being the man to deliver that devastating blow, either next April or whenever their paths might cross.
"I can't be bothered anymore to be worried about Wilder, Wilder, Wilder, Wilder," he added.
"If he wants it, let's get it on. He's a good fighter, he's a good champion, he has stepped up. But to step up against me is down to him."
|Brewers blank Dodgers to take 2-1 NLCS lead|
|Cavaliers, Nance agree to four-year extension|
|Ramos wants Spain to believe in Luis Enrique´s team|
|De Laurentiis: I´ve spoken to Genoa and agent about Piatek|
|Kaka tips bright future for Paqueta after Milan agreement|
|Suns star Booker set to return for season opener|
|Warriors coach Kerr not expecting fast start from NBA champs|
|Fultz to start for 76ers as Brown eyes NBA Finals|
|Maltese champions Valletta want Usain Bolt|
|It would have been normal to kill them! Luis Enrique slams abysmal Spain|
|Seahawks, Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen dies aged 65|
|Red Sox ace Sale released from hospital, still set for game five|
|Beer-throwing fan banned by Patriots|
|Southgate lauds ´tremendous´ attackers after famous Spain win|
|Djokovic closing in on summit as he scales new heights|
|Monaco the natural move for Henry - Martinez|
|Ending England drought a ´beautiful feeling´ – Sterling|
|Halep to face Pavlyuchenkova in Moscow comeback|
|NBA 2018-19: Five non-LeBron James storylines to follow|
|Spain 2 England 3: Kane inspires Three Lions as Sterling ends drought in style|
|Bosnia-Herzegovina 2 Northern Ireland 0: Dzeko double leaves O´Neill´s side on the brink|
|Mannarino stops the rot in Moscow|
|Neymar pleased Brazil will not face Messi in Argentina clash|
|Buccaneers fire defensive coordinator Mike Smith after loss to Falcons|
|´Surprised´ Deschamps accepts he could´ve made more effort with Koscielny|
|Kuwait 0 Australia 4: Socceroos deliver win for new coach Arnold|
|Van Dijk fit for Liverpool return - Koeman|
|NBA 2018-19: Eastern Conference predictions|
|NBA 2018-19: Five rookies to watch|
|Denly replaces injured Dawson in England ODI squad|
|Low confirms under-fire Neuer to start against France|
|NBA 2018-19: Western Conference predictions|
|Bolt offered two-year deal by European club, says agent|
|NBA 2018-19: LeBron the Laker - what it means|
|Griezmann ahead of Mbappe for Ballon d´Or - Modric|
|Billy Vunipola ruled out with fractured arm|
|Get the chequebook out! - Mayweather talks up potential Khabib clash|
|Amla ruled out of Australia tour|
|Class act Hamilton more complete than ever - Wolff|
|NBA 2018-19: It´s a big season for - Ball, Kawhi, Carmelo, Love & Cousins|
|Bellew: I have no fear of Usyk|
|Birthday boy Ozil is the most creative player in Europe|
|CSA reveals De Villiers and Rabada involved in Mzansi Super League|
|FA condemns England supporters involved in trouble in Seville|
|Gascoigne hits back over Scottish Hall of Fame snub|
|NBA 2018-19: LeBron closing in on Jordan, Curry chasing Miller and Allen|
|Ter Stegen should start ahead of Neuer for Germany – Matthaus|
|England´s Sterling impressed by Sancho´s work ethic|
|Vandoorne seals switch to Formula E|
|Halep to end 2018 as world number one|
|Sri Lanka´s Jayasuriya charged by ICC with breaching anti-corruption code|
|Vermaelen out for six weeks with hamstring injury|
|LeBron and Irving did not fall out, says ex-Cavs trainer|
|Ramsey out of Wales´ clash with Republic of Ireland|
|Bolt angry with drugs test|
|Bad luck is not a coincidence – Kimmich concerned by Germany form|
|Mahomes: Chiefs need to win like Brady and the Patriots|
|Schuster warns Real Madrid not to panic-buy striker in January|
|We´re here to win! - Paine not happy celebrating a draw|
|Injured Thauvin out of Germany clash|
|Southgate hits out at early Premier League start|
|Modric to Inter talk is ´fantasy´, says Guardiola|
|Pats hand first loss to Chiefs after wild shoot-out|
|Cowboys, Ravens dominate as Pats beat Chiefs in NFL classic|
|Brady becomes first QB to 200 regular-season wins in NFL|
|Red Sox level series against Astros|
|Mbappe leaves red-faced Dembele on his backside|
|Red Sox ace Sale admitted to hospital with stomach illness|
|From UFC to NFL? McGregor throws pass for Cowboys|
|Ancelotti praises ´dangerous´ Mbappe|