Ricky Hatton says home support will see Carl Froch beat Mikkel Kessler

Last Updated: 23/05/13 4:13pm

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Sky Bet

Ricky Hatton is backing the fans to prove the difference between Carl Froch and Mikkel Kessler.

The pair go toe-to-toe again at the sold-out O2 Arena on Saturday night, live on Sky Sports Box Office.

It means 19,000 fans will be packed in with the vast majority behind Nottingham's Froch. Kessler, who won the decision the first time they met in his hometown of Copenhagen, will have at best 2,000 Danish fans who have made the trip.

And Hatton, who fought in Manchester or in front of even bigger crowds in Las Vegas, believes the home support could secure a revenge win for the Briton.

"Home advantage could be the deciding factor," he told skysports.com. "They are both so similar it might be the one thing that separates them.

"Sometimes the crowd behind you can be really good. When I fought Kostya Tszyu in front of 20,000 in the last few rounds they pulled me through.

"But when I fought Juan Lazcano at the City of Manchester Stadium in front of 58,000, as impressive as it was, there was a lot of pressure on my shoulders. You don't want to be letting so many people down, so it's a double-edged sword."

"My career is over and I've moved on, and it's good that we have another Briton in Froch to fly the flag and do the nation proud"
Ricky Hatton

Hatton, who was a two-weight world champion, has been in the biggest fights involving British fighters for the past few years.

Showdowns with Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao had thousands making the trip to the States or watching them on Sky Sports Box Office.

The Hitman, who retired after losing his comeback fight to Vyacheslav Senchenko last November, believes that Froch can take pick up where he left off.

Defences

"When I had those unification matches it was brilliant," said Hatton. "But my career is over and I've moved on, and it's good that we have another Briton in Froch to fly the flag and do the nation proud.

"I do like Carl. I admire him so much because he fights the best. There are few fighters along the way that had some easy defences but the one thing I think is that I always fought the best - and Carl is very much the same."

Hatton also expects his compatriot to exact revenge and beat Kessler.

Even though he admits that the fans might be the biggest factor because they are so similar, he expects Froch to come out on top.

"Ultimately it's two very similar fighters and they can have all the tactics in the world but after a few rounds it will go back to the old way! I would say Froch on points or maybe even a late stoppage."

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