On Saturday June 15th, Scotland hopes to add an exciting new chapter to its proud boxing history and crown their first-ever female world champion.
Glasgow’s Hannah Rankin (6-3) aims to defeat American, Sarah Curran (4-1-1) and claim the vacant IBO super-welterweight world championship in Paisley, Scotland.
It’s a fantastic platform for the winner with the fight being broadcast live on BBC Scotland. It’s very rare to see boxing on a freeview channel in the UK and the sheer amount of viewers the event is now available to is a boost for the sport in general and women’s boxing in particular.
Rankin, who doubles up as a classical musician, has had two previous cracks at world titles and proved herself to be incredibly tough – going the distance on both occasions. She lost decisions to current undisputed middleweight world champion, Claressa Shields, and Alicia Napoleon, the current WBA 168lbs world champion.
Rankin and Napoleon have continued to trade leather during multiple sparring sessions in preparation for Hannah’s world title tilt. It’s not lost on the twenty-eight year-old just how big this chance is. ‘It is so important for me to be fighting at home in Scotland’, she told me back in March. ‘It’s going to be a really big event. When I win, I’m going to become Scotland’s first-ever female world champion.’
Meanwhile, Curran is somewhat of an unknown quantity. She lost her professional debut. But impressively, has only ever faced unbeaten competitors in her six fights to date.
In April she told me, ‘Every opponent I had to fight were all unbeaten. Their amateur backgrounds were elite.’ That’s what you call tough matchmaking.
The lack of numbers in female boxing mean it can be difficult to find suitable opponents when progressing through the rankings. Both Rankin and Curran have proved they’re willing to take on any challenge to get there.
Curran previously told me, “When it comes to women’s boxing – you can’t pick and choose. It’s not like there’s a bunch of us, so you have to jump on the opportunity.’ Rankin shared those values when she proclaimed, “You should take those opportunities when they come along.
“There’s not enough women in boxing at the moment for people to be worrying so much about the money. You need to take the chances. The money is going to increase as we put on a better show for the public.”
Whatever happens, it should be a competitive fight between two hungry boxers hoping to walk away from Paisley, Scotland as a world champion.
‘History In The Making’ takes place on Saturday June 15th at Paisley Lagoon Centre in Paisley, Scotland as Hannah Rankin battles Sarah Curran for the vacant IBO super-welterweight world championship.
Limited tickets for the event, proudly promoted by Sam Kynoch for Kynoch Boxing, are available to purchase from eventbrite.co.uk. The fight will also be broadcast live on BBC Scotland.
Ian Aldous is a staff writer for World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @ian7685