Former undisputed middleweight world champion Marvin Hagler believes British star Anthony Joshua is the future of boxing.
Joshua is the IBF and WBA heavyweight champion as he prepares to face WBO holder Joseph Parker in Cardiff on March 31.
The undefeated 28-year-old announced himself on the big stage with a thrilling victory over Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley in 2017, before improving to 20-0 via TKO against Carlos Takam later that year.
"I'm excited," Hagler said, speaking at the 2018 Laureus World Sports Awards. "I mean right now he's the new superstar in the boxing world and he has great opportunities.
"Also, there's a lot of money out there to be made. Antony- I met him last year and what a great kid he was, you know what I mean.
"And the fight there with Klitschko, I would have hated for anybody to lose that fight because I like Klitschko. But Anthony's the future."
But Hagler urged caution in protecting Joshua, the 63-year-old feeling it is crucial he is not rushed into a big fight, with a bout against American Deontay Wilder potentially on the horizon.
"I like that [prospective] fight," Hagler said when asked about Joshua and Wilder. "I think that's another big fight like with [Floyd] Mayweather and all the fighter he's just fought.
"I think Anthony has got a great fight, a great future. As long as they don't rush him too fast. That's the only problem."