HANNAH RANKIN has vowed to come back stronger after the shock loss of her IBO super-welterweight world championship title.

The Luss boxer was on the wrong end of a unanimous points decision from the three judges at the end of her first defence of the crown against Sweden’s Patricia Berghult in Malta last 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 loses world title belt after shock Malta defeat

It was the former Hermitage Academy pupil’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.

Rankin said in a post on Instagram the following day: “Congratulations to @patriciaberghult and team on the win last night and a tough fight.

“I’m not one to make excuses and I won’t now; last night the better fighter won.

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

“Thank you to everyone around me that made this fight happen, and thank you to all my sponsors and supporters – these opportunities are only possible with your support.

“I will regroup and be back in 2020. I’ve done it before, I will again and maybe first half of 2020 we run it back – Berghult v Rankin 2.”

Rankin’s management company, Kynoch Boxing, said in an Instagram post 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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