RICKY HATTON thinks this weekend's derby match-up between Stephen Foster Jnr and Anthony Crolla will be a cracker.
Salford's Foster Jnr has been handed the chance to appear on the undercard of the big Froch v Groves bill after Crolla's original opponent, British lightweight champion Martin Gethin, was forced to pull out.
The 33-year-old former European super-featherweight titlist will go in as an underdog, but Hatton says people would be wrong to write him off.
"I think this is a very good derby fight between two of boxing's real nice guys," the Hitman said.
"After Crolla's last outstanding performance against Gavin Rees you'd have say he's the favourite. Foster has not too been active lately, but he's in great shape all the time and he's working with Jamie Moore now, which has given him a great boost.
"Some of Foster's best performances have been in his biggest fights, when he's had his back against the wall, so he has a great chance."
Despite taking the fight on short notice, Foster Jnr has had an extensive training camp as he was due to face Michael Katsidis in Australia on December 11 until the bill was cancelled.
Having boxed on many of the same bills, Foster Jnr and Crolla are friends outside of the ring, but it will be strictly business on Saturday night.
"We've known each other throughout our years in boxing. We'll put all that behind us and deal with it like sportsmen," Stephen, 31-4-1 (18 KOs), said.
"It's a massive opportunity to fight on a bill like this and it'll get my career back going again. This is the place to do it and Saturday night is the time to do it."