Hard not to mention women's boxing and not WBA and IBO Super Welterweight champion Hannah Rankin. Rankin(12-5, 3 KOs) looks to retain this weekend again familiar challenger Terri Harper (12-1, 6 KOs) as the chief support bout from Nottingham Arena in Nottingham, live on the streaming service DAZN. The heat in the U.S. couldn't lose all summer long, and Miami, like most of the nation, was getting record numbers. Rankin looked to take advantage of it as she was there with Claressa Shields.
“This was my second time training in Miami/ Always good to train in America away from home. It's always great to train in hot weather. In the U.K., we have rubbish weather.” Rankin joked.
Rankin was in Miami sparring with Claressa Shields. Rankin is one of few women who has faced Shields and her rival Savanah Marshall in the ring. With their matchup back on the books for October 15, I asked her who had the edge.
“Claressa is in incredible shape for her fight with Savannah (Marshall),” Rankin stated. “I was absolutely gutted when her fight got canceled, but it is one of those freak things you can never plan for with the Queen passing away. I'm really glad they got it reorganized so quickly. I think she is going to put on an absolute show against Savannah.”
Weigh-in done 🔥
Rankin: 153.4 lbs
Harper: 152 lbs
WBA Super Welterweight Championship 🏆
Who will win? 👀
— WBA Boxing (@WBABoxing) September 23, 2022
One of the biggest adjustments Rankin has made recently is moving down in weight. Rankin said she feels comfortable at the new weight at 154 now, but this wasn't the original weight she was campaigning at until the pandemic broke out.
“Well, for me, I feel great at 154; it's my weight class. Actually, if I'm honest, I could move down to 147 as well. Definitely not a 160 fighter, but you go through the channels when they come up. It allowed me to fight the pound for pound women's champions of my era,” Rankin noted.
Harper enlisted the help of a ‘mind coach' following her loss to Alycia Baumgartner. The coach is someone that Rankin advised her to investigate.
“Terri is doing that based on the advice I actually gave her,” Rankin mentioned.” I was sparring with her way back after the Baumgartner loss. I went up there and gave her some advice. I'm glad she took my advice. He's been a part of my team for years.” I'm a strong believer that you work your body like you work your mind. I put in a lot of mental training for all of my fights.”
Lastly, speaking on the landscape of the women's fight game, Rankin laid out to me where she sees it currently.
“We're in a meteoric rise of women's boxing, and ironically, the pandemic did us a massive favor and gathered us an audience. Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing did their best to put on as many women's fights, and many of those fights were exciting. All female fights are fast-paced, and that helps our platform/it's been growing, and to be a champion during this time has been exciting. You're at the forefront of change. The only thing left now is to change the rounds to help the development.”