Scots champion Rankin supports world-first research into female boxing

Project aimed at improving safety and training methods in the sport.

Former world champion boxer Hannah Rankin is supporting pioneering research into female boxing.

Abertay University in Dundee is leading the project, which focuses on improving safety and training methods.

Technology is being used to collect information as it monitors Hannah’s muscular response to the strain and pressure of training.

Exercise physiologist Andrew Usher and Hannah Rankin during a training session.

The work is being conducted by Dr John Babraj, senior lecturer in exercise physiology, who said Rankin had been “a joy to engage with”.

He added: “Her commitment to sharing these outputs with the university shows how much she cares about advancing women’s boxing, and also about giving back to the next generation of athletes and coaches.”

The data gathered is helping advance what’s thought to be the world’s first extensive research into professional female boxing.

Exercise physiologist Andrew Usher told STV News: “We’re looking at things such as how is she recovering, how much power can she generate in a sprint, how long can she hold that for, how can she do in the upper body the same sort of thing?

“And then we’re looking at how the muscle utilises oxygen, and then how it’s able to recover that oxygen.

“If you think about a boxing fight, there’s a 60-second window where the boxer has to recover and that’s a really important window because you need your boxer to be cognisant and be able to perceive and function.

“The more they can recover, the safer they are in the sport.”

The 32-year-old is just three weeks out from a fight, which gives her the chance to begin the road to redemption having lost her belts last September.

She later revealed she wasn’t mentally prepared for the bout, but hopes the new research will encourage more women into the sport.

Rankin is preparing to take on Logan Holler on March 10.

Rankin said: “I really want to leave a legacy behind when I am eventually forced to retire.

“I want to leave something behind me that other female fighters can make use of to hopefully one day see another female world champion come out of Scotland.

“That, for me, is like the dream.”

Having broken down the data, Rankin will head to Wolverhampton packing a punch, as she goes glove-to-glove with world number eight Logan Holler on March 10.

Rankin views her data collected by Dr John Babraj and exercise physiologist Andrew Usher.

Noel Callan, who heads up Rankin’s coaching, said: “One of the beauties of the collaboration is that other professional female athletes – her sparring partners – are able to capture their data as well.

“So, it’s something that doesn’t normally happen. You don’t get that many professional elite-level female athletes in one space from the same sport, and this camp has allowed us to do that.”

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