The Trotters have impressively earned an eight-year stay in England's top flight while Sunderland have been relegated three times in the past nine years.
The clubs go head-to-head in the opening weekend of the new Premier League season at the Reebok Stadium, but their expectations differ considerably.
While Bolton are expected to steer clear of the relegation trapdoor many are tipping the Black Cats to excel under Bruce after struggling at times with Ricky Sbragia at the helm.
Huge respect"For what they have done as a club, I have the hugest respect. For a team like Bolton to be in the Premier League for the past eight years is a quite remarkable achievement, fantastic," said Bruce.
"They've added three or four to their squad which will make them bigger, better and stronger, and it will be a tough test. Anyone who goes to Bolton knows what to expect.
"That's the way we have to go to establish ourselves. We have to go nine or 10 years in the Premier League.
"Then you don't have to make six, seven signings at a time and keep changing manager. You just have that consistency and continuity. That's what we need here and that's the aim."