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Kristina Rihanoff

Their nine-month relationship was said to be on the ropes – but boxing champion Joe Calzaghe and ballroom dancer Kristina Rihanoff looked very much an item while on holiday in Spain last week.

In fact the couple, who met on BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing, even sparked rumours of an engagement when the Siberian-born dancer was spotted with a ring on the fourth finger of her left hand.

Joe Calzaghe and Kristina Rihanoff

Sunny outlook: Joe Calzaghe and Kristina Rihanoff kiss tenderly by the pool, suggesting rumours of a split are unfounded

They certainly seemed to have renewed their passion during the luxury break at a five-star Marbella hotel, sharing a kiss by the pool and tenderly rubbing suntan oil on to each other’s bodies.

But for most of their romantic getaway, the lotion would not have been necessary, thanks to poor weather on the Costa Del Sol.

They were forced to spend most of their time in the hotel spa, but did get the chance to top up their tans when the sun emerged for a few hours one afternoon.

One onlooker said the couple ‘could hardly take their hands off each other. They were every inch the love birds, and looked very happy together’.

Rubbing it in: Kristina gets to work with the sun cream while Joe returns the favour

Their break seems to put paid to reports earlier this month that Calzaghe feared his relationship with the 32-year-old had stalled.

The light heavyweight met Kristina during rehearsals for Strictly last autumn and split from his long-term girlfriend Jo-Emma Larvin shortly afterwards.

They were paired up as dance partners but refused to talk about their rumoured personal relationship until after they were voted off the show, five weeks into the competition.

And when he did confirm the affair, Calzaghe said that taking part in Strictly was the best decision of his life as it allowed him to meet Kristina.

Joe and Kristina

Stepping out: The pair on last year's Strictly Come Dancing, where they fell for each other

Calzaghe, 38, is considered one of the world’s most successful boxers, and when he quit last year he became only the fourth European boxer to leave the sport as an undefeated world champion.

He was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 2007 and was awarded the CBE in the Queen’s 2008 birthday honours.

Earlier this year Calzaghe admitted taking cocaine and revealed he is seeking help for addiction, while claiming that an unnamed television actor could supply him with the drug.

Last month his ex-girlfriend, Jo-Emma, told this newspaper how he began taking cocaine at parties but, as the drug took hold, was eventually using it up to three times a week, often while alone in their house.

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