'I've been told I'm banned from the gym' - Hannah Rankin on becoming a world champion

Scotland's Hannah Rankin
Hannah Rankin won the IBO super-welterweight title with a 96-94 victory over America's Sarah Curran

Hannah Rankin hopes to inspire more girls to take up boxing after becoming Scotland's first female world champion.

The 28-year-old won the IBO super-welterweight title with a unanimous points decision over American Sarah Curran in Paisley.

Rankin won the world title on her third attempt and will now take a break before planning her defence.

"It's time for a rest, I've been told I'm banned for the gym for two weeks," she said.

"I'm enjoying being able to eat what I want for a little bit and to relax. I've not seen my fiancé for four weeks, so it's time we had some time together."

Rankin lost world title bouts at super-middleweight and middleweight in the United States before a third attempt in front of a home crowd in Scotland.

The Luss fighter was a unanimous winner, with the judges scoring the 10-round fight 96-94 in her favour.

"I'm really proud and hopefully I'll be an inspiration for more girls to get into the sport," Rankin said.

"Kristin Fraser (Commonwealth bantamweight champion) and I are leading the way for more girls to get involved.

"If you're aiming to get to the top of the division or sport you're working in, you should accept that you're a role model. That's something I enjoy being.

"I was fighting to make history for my country, to become the first female world champion, it was on TV, there was a lot of pressure.

"There's not many professional females in the UK and I was the first to headline a televised card. We need more time on air to showcase what we've got.

"It will help to boost women's boxing for people to see what we're all about. We put on a great show, it was a war, and it was exciting for people to watch."

A classically-trained musician who grew up on a farm near Loch Lomond, Rankin has fought 10 times as a professional and balances her boxing with providing private tuition lessons on the bassoon and the flute in London, where she now lives.

"I move my lessons around, I'm lucky that it's flexible. Most women in sport have other careers to support us financially," Rankin said.

"I'm so lucky to have two careers that I love. If my bassoon's driving me mad, I go down to the gym and if boxing's driving me mad, I go to my bassoon. That's a balanced life. Music is something I can fall back on at any time in my career and my life.

"I always wake up after a fight and think, 'did it happen?' I looked over and my belt was sitting there and I thought, 'it did happen, I'm world champion'."

Analysis

Alex Arthur, former British, Commonwealth, European and world super-featherweight champion

On the night it looked very close, but I watched the fight again and it looked to me like Hannah won it more convincingly the second time I watched it. It was a brilliant fight. The American girl started really quickly, she was causing Hannah problems.

It's very difficult to fight someone who's short and moves that much, and has good lateral movement and a good perception of where shots were coming from. She was very difficult to box against and you just have to be patient against boxers like that, and break them down stage by stage.

Her movement patterns were so effective. Most fighters expect a short opponent to come right towards them and that would have been so much easier for Hannah. That girl would give anyone nightmares.

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