'I am stronger and faster at 154lbs': Hannah Rankin interview

Ezio Prapotnich
19/11/2019 8:38pm

Hannah Rankin talks about her IBO title success, joining Salita Promotions and much more with Ezio Prapotnich...

If we were to use musical terminology to describe the dynamics of Scottish super welterweight boxer and musician Hannah Rankin’s (8-3, 1 KO) career since her back-to-back defeats for middle and super-middleweight world titles in 2018, then we would say it has been a 'crescendo'.

The volume of her fistic sonata has gradually increased to a point where it can’t be ignored. Losses have been turned to lessons, an IBO title win followed to put her on the map and she is now campaigning at her natural weight with the backing of Salita Promotions. On her way to major title contention, she will face undefeated Swedish Patricia Berghult (13-0, 3 KOs) for the Interim WBC belt in Malta on 27 November.

BM: Do you consider the IBO title an achievement in itself or just a stepping stone to the major belts?
HR: There is no denying it has been a turning point in my career which lead to bigger opportunities but I consider it a legitimate title in itself. I rate the IBO as an organisation and am proud to be one of their champions.

BM: What are these opportunities exactly?
HR: Salita Promotions, which in my eyes is the best promotional platform for female boxing in the world, got in touch and signed me after I became IBO champion. As a result, I made my American debut and am now fighting for the WBC Interim super welter title. A TV deal is also on the cards for next year. It seems likely it will be with Showtime, featuring on Claressa Shields’s undercards, but there are also other options on the table to be examined.

BM: As your previous title losses happened at higher weights, do you feel you are now in the right division at super welter?
HR: It is my natural weight class. I am stronger and faster at 154lbs. I moved up only to chase the belts. Female fighters can’t afford to be picky as title opportunities against credible opponents might not always occur in your own division. Both experiences were key in my technical development as a fighter, though. Plus, now I have the promotional backing I lacked before and I am confident I will be able to achieve my objectives on fair terms.

BM: Being both under the same banner and with her chasing a title in a third division at super welter, is a rematch between you and Claressa a possibility down the line? And would it be a different result?
HR: If we were fighting again, it will definitely be a different fight as we have both developed and improved. But, I don’t see it happening anytime soon. If I win the WBC Interim and she gets past Ivana Habazin for the full title, it would create an interesting situation but I am not sure if she will stick around at 154lbs. To be honest, we are on good terms as stablemates and I am not interested in chasing that fight actively. Also, I have an IBO defence next in line. Let’s get the next two fights out of the way and then I leave it to my promoter to sort out what happens next.

BM: It is difficult to mention Claressa Shields without bringing up Savannah Marshall. Would that be a fight you’d be interested in?
HR: Besides being my natural weight, I’m a world champion at 154 and would not step up for Marshall as she brings nothing to the table at the moment. But, if she wants to step down then I’d be very happy to fight her.

BM: Focusing on the immediate future, how do you rate your next opponent Patricia Berghult and, most importantly, how do you beat her?
HR: It’s a good fight for me at this point of my career. She is technically very good, as her undefeated record proves. I will have the size advantage as she is stepping up from welterweight, where she is ranked at number 6 with the WBC, but I am not giving away anything on tactics.

BM Is it safe to say boxing has completely replaced your musical career at this point?
HR: Not at all. I still teach when I’m not in training. Music will always be a big part of my life and I will surely go back to it when I’m done with boxing.

BM: Can you tell us one thing no one knows about you?
HR: I do Brazilian Ju Ji-Tsu and I am not dismissing the possibility of competing in MMA at one point.

BM: Anything else you would like to share?
HR: I am very excited about my next fight. Tune in and watch the live streaming on Ranfighting.de or Viaplay.

Ezio Prapotnich is on Twitter @EPrapotnich, Instagram e.prapotnich, Facebook Ezio Prapotnich and Linkedin Ezio Prapotnich