Anthony Joshua has been tipped to come out on top in his world heavyweight title fight against Kubrat Pulev by the man he most recently conquered Wladimir Klitschko.
Joshua defended his IBF belt twice before gaining the WBA and lesser-regarded IBO straps by coming off the canvas to claim an epic 11th-round knockout of Klitschko at Wembley last April.
The 27-year-old will return to the ring against the IBF's mandatory challenger Pulev in Cardiff on October 28.
Klitschko retired in the wake of his defeat to Joshua and believes the Briton can be a leading light in the sport in his absence.
"I think Anthony will have more chances than Pulev, but in this sport you never know, we will see," said the Ukrainian.
"Anthony Joshua represents the sport very well. He is a heavyweight champion. He deserves to be the best and I'm at peace with myself.
"I'm completely calm and ready to leave the sport, which I already did two months ago, and Anthony will represent the sport very well."
Klitschko's career – and that of his brother Vitali – in which he dominated the heavyweight division for the best part of a decade was acknowledged at the German Boxing Awards and he is looking forward to a new chapter in his life.
He said: "I'm far too young to get an award for my lifetime achievements. I'm now 41 years old, and on one hand I am excited for the life after my career, and I hope that second career will be more exciting than the first one, but there is also the other hand.
"I am realising now that this is the end to a huge part of the lives of me and Vitali. We aren't active athletes anymore, but we gathered much experience and expertise and that will help us in our lives."