FORMER world champion boxer Hannah Rankin will take the first step towards reclaiming her belt and becoming a two-time world champion this weekend as she takes on Eva Bajic at the Lagoon Centre in Paisley.

The former Hermitage Academy pupil made history last summer as she became Scotland’s first female boxing world champion, outclassing American Sarah Curran on points to claim the IBO super-welterweight belt.

However, the Luss boxer was on the wrong end of a unanimous points decision at the end of her first defence against Sweden’s Patricia Berghult in Malta back in November. 

READ MORE: Hannah Rankin loses world title belt in Malta fight

And now set to make her return to home soil this weekend, the 29-year-old only has one thing on her mind.

“My only focus is to become a world champion again,” Rankin told Advertiser Sport. “Ideally that will be a rematch with Patricia Berghult - she’s got my belt and I want it back.

“If that’s not the road we go down, then I’m not overly fussed as long as it ends with a world title. I’ll take whatever opportunities come my way. My goal is to become a two-time world champion.”

First up in that journey towards another world title shot, Rankin must overcome a familiar foe in Bajic on Saturday night.

Initially set to face Gifty Ankrah before admin troubles ruled the Ghanaian out, Rankin now faces Bajic for the second time in her career after outpointing the Hungarian last January.

READ MORE: Hannah Rankin wins 2019 sportswoman of the year award

“I’ve had to change opponent at the last minute due to some admin issues,” Rankin revealed. “I only found out over the weekend, but my team have done extremely well to source another opponent. I fought her just over a year ago and she’s the former IBF world champion so it will be good to get someone in of a good quality.”

Returning to the Lagoon Centre for the first time since her world title win - a night she says was one of the best of her life - Rankin admits she can’t wait to relive those memories.

“I can’t wait to fight at the Lagoon Centre again. I’ve had nothing but success and good memories there over the years. 

“I won my first title there, the WBC silver middleweight title, and then of course went on to win my IBO belt there last year.

“For me, it’s a lucky venue and one I absolutely love to perform in. I can’t wait to be back there, I must admit.”

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