Hannah Rankin on Women in Boxing, Fighting Claressa Shields, and More
At only 28, Hannah Rankin will go down in the history books as being a part of the best boxing fight you never saw. A few months ago she faced Alicia Napoleon for the WBA World Female Super Middleweight Title at the Nassau Coliseum. On dead last, it was the best contest on a card featuring Andre Berto v. Devon Alexander.
Now, Rankin (5-2) will get another opportunity at a title, but this time she will be showcased to fans around the world. On November 17, Matchroom Boxing heads to the Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane Kansas. Hannah will be facing a young fighter who considers herself the best there is today. Her fight against two-time Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields will be aired exclusively on the DAZN streaming service. The fight will be for Shields’ (6-0) IBF, WBA and WBC World Middleweight Titles.
When Hannah and Claressa had the chance to face off, Hannah was very cordial, saying the following about her opponent.
“It's an amazing opportunity for me to fight Claressa Shields, it's one that I wanted so I am thrilled that we have got it. It's going to be a fantastic fight, we both have aggressive come-forward styles, so I am looking forward to putting that into action as I think we've got one hell of a fight here.”
She kept it short and sweet, as Rankin is waiting for her fists to do the talking. Female Fight Fans had the opportunity to speak to Hannah about a number of topics. From her upcoming fight to future opportunities for women, Hannah Rankin showed how ready she is for all challengers, whether it is in or out of the ring.
Female Fight Fans: You’re last fight against Alicia Napoleon was deemed by many, including Lou DiBella, as the match of the night. Unfortunately, it was not televised. What are your thoughts on the matter?
Hannah Rankin: For me, it was definitely disappointing. It was the only world title fight on the card. It should have been televised. I am really proud to be televised for this one (on DAZN). It is a big step forward and hopefully, more women could have televised fights sooner.
FFF: How can those in boxing get involved and do more for women?
HR: Eddie Hearn has done some amazing work in giving women an opportunity. Katie Taylor has been blazing hot at the moment. Getting more female fighters on cards and on rosters help. Eddie has stated that he enjoys female boxing and always shows support to us. All male boxers treat me with respect when I’m fighting. I do think more people need to be more open-minded and get involved. Having the opportunity to watch us will help grow the fan base as well. We are slowly but surely getting there.
FFF: Thoughts on Claressa as an opponent? How are you prepparing to face someone who is so young, but established?
HR: I’ve be working on a little something with my camp for this fight, I obviously can’t give any secrets away. Rest assured, I’ve been working very hard. I was set to fight this upcoming Saturday. For me, it is just an extension of my camp. I will definitely be ready to go by the 17th. There’s stuff from my last fight that I have tinkered with for this one.
FFF: What does it mean to you to fight like a girl?
HR: It means so many things: to fight with heart, to fight with belief, to believe in yourself, to put yourself out there in any situation in order to feel confident in oneself. This is for everyone, not just fighters.
FFF: What would you have to say to your fans, especially young women and aspiring fighters?
HR: Believe in yourself, the world is changing. Also, have a good, strong team that can push you forward.
FFF: Prediction for the fight?
HR: I’ll leave it all in the ring. It’s going to be an absolute firefight.
Tickets for Miller v. Dinu and Shields v. Rankin are on sale now. You can grab them at the Kansas Star Casino box office or at Ticketmaster.com.