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Rankin 'in the shape of her life' as she looks to defend world titles

Rankin will defend her WBA and IBO belts against Terri Harper in Nottingham on Saturday.

Hannah Rankin ‘in the shape of her life’ as she looks to defend world titles Craig Foy via SNS Group

By Adam Jukes

World champion Hannah Rankin says she feels ‘’a million dollars’’ leading up to the defence of her WBA and IBO super-welterweight belts on Saturday.

Rankin faces Terri Harper in Nottingham and goes into the fight on the back of a successful defence against Alejandra Ayala in May,

And the 32-year-old from Luss says is in the best shape of her life.

Speaking to STV Sport she said: ‘’I’ve been in camp for 12 weeks I’ve worked so hard; I am in the best shape of my life and I’m so ecstatic to be in fight week now and that pre fight excitement is kicking in,’’.

Saturday is a massive night for the Scot and she expects it to be a thrilling evening in the East Midlands:

‘‘It’s a great place to defend my world titles as Nottingham is a great city they absolutely love their boxing so I’m hoping for a great crowd and an amazing atmosphere.’’

There was an element of surprise when it was announced that Harper would be her next opponent as the English woman is stepping up three weight divisions in order to make the bout happen, moving up from the super-featherweight division.

‘’I was not expecting this fight at all,’’ Rankin exclaimed ‘’but it is a great opportunity for me to fight on a global platform like DAZN and we got a great offer from Matchroom boxing, so why not’’.

The Scot is a strong favourite to win. But she insists carrying the favourite tag doesn’t add any pressure on her:

‘’It makes no difference to me, I have fought all round the world on many different platforms and I am going in there to defend what’s mine’’.

As Scotland’s first ever female world champion, Ranking has put a spotlight on female boxing in the country.

She said: ‘‘It is a huge honour. It blows my mind every time to be the first female to hold that title no one can ever take that away from me.

‘’I am very proud to be representing Scotland, we are a small nation but we make a lot of noise. In the boxing world we have been doing that for a few years now and I am proud to be a part of that’’.

Rankin’s last fight was a hometown title defence at the Hydro in Glasgow which was an electric night:

‘’Headlining the Hydro was a dream, I am biased but Scottish fans are the best and it was a fantastic night’’.

But she is adamant that fighting away in England will make no difference to her performance in the ring:

‘’Being away from home it doesn’t make any difference to me it doesn’t matter where it is in the world. At the end of the day when I step in that ring on fight night that is my home.’’

Should Rankin win, a super-welterweight unification showdown with Natasha Jonas – who holds the WBC and IBF titles – could be the next logical step in her career.

‘’If I win then I will be getting together with my team and plan for the next steps of my career. There are some really exciting fights in the division right now and Natasha Jonas is the other domestic rivalry that may happen.’’

But crucially for Rankin it’s all about Saturday night as she looks to cement her position at the top of the super-welterweight division and bring her world titles back to Scotland yet again.