Graham Earl has warned Kevin Mitchell that his challenge for the interim WBO lightweight title could have come too soon.
The unbeaten Mitchell, who has 23 stoppages in his 31 victories, will face title-holder Michael Katsidis at Upton Park on Saturday, live on Sky Sports HD1.
And having been knocked out in five rounds by the Australian for the same title back in 2007, former British and Commonwealth champion Earl knows only too well what Mitchell will be coming up against.
Earl remains a friend to both fighters, having sparred with Mitchell, but he believes the fight could have come too early in the Londoner's career.
"When Kevin first turned pro he came over to West Ham, his old ams club where we used to train and we used to spar away together," Earl told Sky Sports.
"We are friends, in fact I am friends with both of them, but I am not one to sit on the fence. I tend to think Michael still has a lot of fight left in him.
"Michael has been at world-class level, whereas Kevin is just coming into it.
"Kevin has definitely got the tools to fight at world class but I think it is coming a little bit too soon at the moment."