Lucas Browne admits feeling apprehensive about going to Chechnya for his challenge to regular WBA heavyweight boxing world champion Ruslan Chagaev.
But the 36-year-old Sydneysider has been reassured he can expect excellent security and treatment as he attempts to become the first Australian to win a portion of a universally-recognised heavyweight world title in the capital Grozny.
Browne was flying to the often-troubled southern Russian republic on Tuesday as the betting underdog in his clash with the 37-year-old Uzbekistan-born Chagaev (34-2-1, 21 KOs).
"To be honest it's slightly nerve-racking," Browne told AAP.
"Not from a fight point of view, I'm quite comfortable with the fight.
"I'm very happy with the way everything has gone, I think it's the fact I'm going to Grozny.
"His (Chagaev's) best friend is the (Chechnyan) president, all that sort of stuff.
"I have these reservations. It's not that I have any background knowledge of what may or not may happen.
"It's just obviously I'm going into a foreign country, so it does give me a little bit of apprehension, but besides that I'm very happy.
"I think the last two or three (boxing promotions) in Grozny have been quite successful, they have put on a great show, there's a lot of money put into it, the venue is great."
Browne (23-0, 20 KOs) has received reassurance from the camp of Fres Oquendo, who unsuccessfully challenged Chagaev in Grozny in 2014.
"My manager has been in contact with Oquendo's people and they said they were very well looked after, great security, the hotel was absolutely sensational," Browne said.
Puerto Rican Oquendo may have provided the Australian with the template to dethrone Chagaev despite dropping a majority points decision.
"Oquendo had the right idea in regards to staying away and keeping mobile, which I think I'll be able to do just a little bit better in terms of the angles," Browne said.
"Oquendo failed to land some big shots, he was throwing his arms around, but they weren't making any dents in his armour.
"I want to fight a lot like Oquendo did fight him, but at the same time interact a little bit more, have a few more punches thrown per round, so a little bit more of the power side of things as well."
Chagaev, who has won his last seven bouts, will be fighting a leaner Browne, who has shed plenty of weight.
"I'm 114 kilos, for me that's the lightest I've ever been for a fight," said Browne who recalled contesting a MMA bout at 131 kilos.
"I still have (almost) two weeks prep over there, so I may come in a bit lighter, but either way I'm extremely fit."