Hannah Rankin made a successful first defence of the WBA super-welterweight title, as well as the IBO belt, as she stopped Alejandro Ayala in the tenth round at the OVO Hydro in Glasgow.

After a tight first five rounds, Ranking took control in the second half of the fight before stopping an exhausted Ayala in the final round.

The win potentially set up an all-British unification against Natasha Jones, the WBO champion, while Cecilia Braekhus is due to challenge Patricia Berghult for the WBC title in August.

“Massive respect to Ayala and her team, they came here for a war and that’s what I got,” Ranking told Fightzone’s Steve Lillis.

“The stuff I am working on in the gym is all coming together and it is all going to pay off.

“The super-welterweight division for women is really hot right now. I have two of the belts, I want the other three.”

Rankin, 31, who lost to Claressa Shields in 2018 and to Savannah Marshall in 2020, claimed the WBA and IBO titles by beating Maria Lindberg in November. Ayala looked up against it but she stuck with Rankin in the early rounds as the Scot looked too keen to get involved in a close up brawl.

It resulted in Rankin getting a nasty swelling around the left eye in the fourth round as the two banged heads.

In the sixth and seventh round, though, the champion was able to exert some steady pressure and Ayala began to slow down.

In the eighth round, Rankin took total control, rocking the Mexican with a left hook and then following up with a hard, straight right. Ayala suddenly looked exhausted as Rankin unloaded with shots to head and body as Ayala tried to cover up on the ropes, but the Mexican saw out the round.

The domination continued in the ninth round, as Ayala threw little, but as the Mexican tried to see out the final round backed up against the ropes, Rankin saw her opportunity for a stoppage.

Two big rights wobbled Ayala, followed by a left hook and with the Mexican seemingly unable to return fire, Ranking landed another big right that prompted referee Michael Alexander’s intervention at 1:15.

“You are beginning to see the start of an established champion, she is improving every fight,” promoter Dennis Hobson said. “Hannah has got a fantastic brain and she just turned up the volume at the right time. She could have coasted and just won on points, but she wanted to entertain.”

On the undercard, Nathaniel Collins made a successful second defence of his Commonwealth featherweight title with a landslide unanimous decision over Jacob Robinson to extend his unbeaten record to 11 fights.

Ron Lewis is a senior writer for BoxingScene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.