Luss boxer Hannah Rankin has called on the best fans in the world to get behind her as she prepares to defend her world championship belts for the first time next week.

The former Hermitage Academy pupil takes on Alejandra Ayala at the OVO Hydro, Glasgow, next Friday, for the World Boxing Association (WBA) and International Boxing Organization (IBO) super-welterweight titles.

The headline fight on May 13 was originally scheduled for Braehead Arena but demand for tickets resulted in the event being moved to the more than 14,000-seater venue.

The 31-year-old picked up the belts in November last year with a win over Maria Lindberg in London - and her clash with the Mexican next week is set to be her first defence of these belts.

Rankin has previously been world champion back in 2019 when she won the IBO crown but lost in her first defence and admits she has no intentions of letting that happen again in front of her fans.

Speaking exclusively to the Advertiser, she said: “It’s a dream come true to be headlining at the Hydro so I’m really excited and can’t wait to get in there and put a show on for the fans.

“I know I’m biased but Scottish fans are the best and make a good amount of noise and they’ll get behind the boxers. The crowd can have a massive impact on the night.

“I’ve got a lot of people coming to support from me down south and around Europe so it’s going to be a big night and my family will all be there with my dad, sister, aunties and uncles. It’s really nice to see people are making the effort coming out and wanting to support me and I feel really blessed.

“It’s like a double-edged thing – it’s super exciting to be fighting at home in front of family and friends but then equally it’s almost more stressful because you know everyone. It’s the dream scenario though and there’s nothing that’s not going to make me excited about it.

“They are my belts and I’m not losing them at home in front of a Scottish crowd. They are staying in Scotland and I’ll make sure the crowd all sees a very exciting Hannah Rankin out there on fight night.”

Fans wanting to get a glimpse of Rankin prior to her taking to the ring at the Hydro can do at an open training session at St Enoch’s Centre, Glasgow, this Saturday, May 7.