HANNAH RANKIN has lost her IBO super-welterweight world title after a points defeat to Patricia Berghult.

The former Hermitage Academy pupil lost out to the Swede on a unanimous points decision after the bout in Malta on Wednesday night.

Rankin, 29, suffered an early blow when she was knocked down in the opening seconds of the fight, and was unable to recover.

The judges gave victory to 25-year-old Berghult by margins of 96-93, 94-93 and 95-94 at the end of the 10-round contest.

READ MORE: Rankin lines up world title defence with Malta fight

It was the Luss boxer's first defence of the IBO title she won against American Sarah Curran in Paisley in June.

Rankin, who was recently named Scotland's sportswoman of the year, was also bidding to add the interim WBC super-welterweight title to her crown.

Berghult has now won all of her 14 fights as a professional boxer.

READ MORE: Hannah makes history with IBO world title win on home soil

Rankin's management company, Kynoch Boxing, said in a post on Instagram after the contest: "Hannah got off to a terrible start - suffering a knockdown in the opening seconds.

"A poor second round followed but Hannah then regrouped and we thought she did enough to narrow the gap at the end to merit a draw.

"Congratulations to Patricia Berghult and her team. Full credit to her as she boxed an excellent fight.

"Hannah has the heart of a lion. She will regroup and bounce back from this setback."

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