Alexander Povetkin has questioned whether Dillian Whyte’s preparation will be damaged by the exit of trainer Mark Tibbs.
Whyte has announced an amicable split from Tibbs, who has trained him for the past four years, ahead of his fight with Povetkin on August 22, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
The British heavyweight will have a new voice in his corner for a risky battle with the Russian, whose only losses have come to Wladimir Klitschko and Anthony Joshua, as Whyte attempts to stay on course for a mandatory shot at Tyson Fury's WBC belt.
"Anything can happen in the camp," Povetkin told Sky Sports when asked about Whyte's change of trainer.
"Proof boxers should be ready for everything.
"Only the fight will demonstrate if the trainer has had an effect on his camp and preparation."
Whyte previously said: "Mark came into my team four years ago and has helped turn me into the world-class boxer that I am today."
Whyte will defend his WBC interim heavyweight title against Povetkin knowing that, by February 2021, he is due to challenge for a world title for the first time in a mandated fight with Fury.
Povetkin warned: "Maybe there is pressure on him. Every fight has pressure."
That world-title opportunity could instead be granted to Povetkin, if he can end Whyte's 11-fight winning streak.
"My preparation is responsible," said the Russian. "I put in maximum effort not to lose the possibilities for the future."
Fury is due to meet Deontay Wilder in a third WBC title fight, targeted for December 19, and has agreed financial terms to meet Anthony Joshua to crown an undisputed champion next year.
WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman told Sky Sports: "There's the position that's very clear. The third fight and then [Whyte's] mandatory must take place.
"There are resources known in the sport that could lead to other scenarios, but the WBC's position and ruling is as I stated."
Promoter Eddie Hearn said: "Whyte should take priority over Joshua to get the Fury fight.
"Joshua will fight Kubrat Pulev in November so won't fight until May, June or July of next year anyway. So there's no reason why Whyte shouldn't get that shot."