31 October 2020

Scottish boxer Rankin to use musical background to block out absence of fans in world title fight

Boxer Hannah Rankin has revealed she plans to use her musical background as a way of blocking out the absence of crowd during her world title showdown with Savannah Marshall tonight.

The 30-year-old Scot is a professional bassoonist as well as balancing her life as an elite-level athlete.

Marshall (left) stands in Rankin’s way of world title glory in London (Twitter: @BoxingMadness1)

And while many believe the behind-closed-doors aspect of shows at the moment could lead to fighters failing to perform, Rankin feels she has experienced enough empty arenas outside of boxing.

"For me it doesn't make any difference," she told BBC Sport.

"Coming from my musical background, I've performed in massive auditoriums with massive audiences and I've performed to two people, like my mum and dad, when I was doing solo performances.

"This is a big fight. I'm feeling like it's not going to be make much of a difference."

Rankin heads into the fight at Wembley Arena with a professional record of nine wins and four defeats, including a loss to undisputed champion and two-time Olympic gold medallist Claressa Shields back in 2018.

Marshall is best-known for being the only woman to have beaten Shields after she got the better of her in the amateurs.

Some boxing fans are already looking beyond the Rankin fight and towards a Marshall-Shields showdown next year.

But Marshall remains focused on the task in hand, saying: "I'm expecting the best Hannah Rankin there is. I've trained for the best Hannah Rankin and I'm expecting a tough fight."

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