Hayden Panettiere and Wladimir Klitschko are engaged

Hayden Panettiere and Wladimir Klitschko

American actress Hayden Panettiere has got engaged to world heavyweight boxing champion Wladimir Klitschko.

The Nashville star confirmed the news during an appearance on American chat show Live with Kelly and Michael, after host Kelly Ripa asked the 24-year-old about the large diamond ring she was wearing.

"I think it (the ring) speaks for itself," said the former Heroes star.

Panettiere made her entrance on the show with a live boa constrictor.

Following the announcement Ripa said: "I don't know if I should kiss you. I don't want to upset your friend the snake."

Hayden Panettiere and Wladimir Klitschko

Her co-host Michael Strahan, who appeared to be scared of the animal around the actress' neck, said: "I'm going to give you a wedding gift right now," before touching the snake.

The actress started dating Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko, 37, in 2009.

They spilt up in 2011, before getting back together earlier this year.

During the break Panettiere, 24, dated NFL player Scotty McKnight.

Earlier this month, Wladimir Klitschko defended his WBA, IBF and WBO world heavyweight titles after beating Alexander Povetkin by unanimous decision.

The 6'6" (198cm) boxer, is the younger brother of WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko.

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