ALL CHANGE PLEASE! As Hannah’s world title defence heads to the OVO Hydro Arena

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Hannah Rankin’s first defence of her WBA and IBO world titles against TOUGH Mexican Alejandra Ayala will now take place at Glasgow’s OVO Hydro Arena on May 13 after demand for tickets out sold capacity for the nearby Braehead Arena which was originally scheduled host the FIGHT on April 23.

Tipped to be another TOE TO TOE war for the FIGHTZONE viewers the undercard will be an all SCOTTISH affair with some of the best up and coming fighters they have to offer across the border.

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Rankin is one of the world’s premier women fighters.  A two-time and now double world title holder, the 31-year-old is in career best form after beating Swedish veteran Maria Lindberg last November at Tottenham Hotspurs FAMOUS White Hart Lane to claim the vacant super-welter belts.

Ayala has visited the UK previously, suffering defeat to middleweight star Savannah Marshall in 2018.  More tellingly though, the 33-year-old has also been the distance twice – sharing 18 rounds – with current IBF World Super Welterweight Champ, Marie Eve Dicaire from Canada.

Rankin goes into this bout 11-5, 2 KO’s  and cannot afford any slip ups against Ayala, that could derail her UNIFICATION dreams of possible SHOWDOWNS with IBF ruler Dicaire, fellow Brit Natahsa Jonas claimed the WBO portion of the world title with a two round KO of Uruguay’s Chris Namus last month and RANKIN V JONAS or should I say Scotland v England would be yet another MASSIVE draw for BRITSIH fight fans.

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Hannah Rankin told Daily Sport Boxing “I’m absolutely ecstatic to be fighting at the Hydro.  It’s one of the main venues in Scotland and every Scottish fighter would love the chance to fight there.  So, to be the main event there, I’m absolutely buzzing. 

“I was commentating on the recent Josh Taylor fight at the Hydro and the atmosphere was insane.  I know I’m biased but the Scottish crowd are the best fans in the world.  When I was at the Hydro I was saying about how amazing it would be to fight there and lo and behold, it’s happened!

“Massive thanks to Dennis [Hobson] and the team for their work.  I really want this night to be a showcase of Scottish talent because boxing in Scotland is absolutely flying at the moment.

“The date change means she has two weeks longer to prepare but that doesn’t matter to me.  She can have as many weeks as she wants but she won’t be taking my belts away from me at home in front of my Scottish fans.”

Fight Academy’s BOSS and DAILY SPORT columnist Dennis Hobson said: “Hannah is a great fighter and I’m delighted that since she joined Fight Academy we’ve helped her to become a world champion again. 

“She’s the perfect role model for any athlete and it just shows how popular she is, and how much the women’s fight game is thriving, that we’ve had to move her first defence to a bigger venue.  Imagine how big the clash between her and Natasha [Jonas] would be!  Everybody loves a Scotland versus England battle but Hannah has a job to do first on May 13.”

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Asif Vali, Chief Operating Officer at Fightzone, stated: “Hannah became a two-time double world champion on Fightzone and we’re so pleased to be giving Fightzone viewers the chance to carry on following her journey. 

“She’s always in exciting fights and her clash with Ayala – a come forward Mexican – won’t be anything other than a war.  Women’s boxing is absolutely flying and to be showcasing one of the world’s best fighters on Fightzone again is fantastic.”

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