Former boxing world champion Hannah Rankin vows to return after losing titles

Hannah Rankin lost her world titles to Terri Harper
Hannah Rankin lost her world titles to Terri Harper

Former world champion Hannah Rankin has vowed to bounce back from her defeat on Saturday evening, which saw her lose her two world title belts.

The 32-year-old had been seeking to successfully defend her WBA and IBO super welterweight titles for the second time but was beaten by England’s Terri Harper who put in a polished performance to win by unanimous decision in Nottingham.

Rankin was hampered throughout the fight by a cut above her left eye, which was caused by a right hand from Harper in the opening round before another right hand in round two caused it to open up, with blood streaming down Rankin’s face for much of the rest of the bout.

Rankin was taken to hospital as a precaution following the final bell but she confirmed on social media that all her tests showed no significant damage, before praising her opponent and promising to return.

“My CT scan is clear and my eye is stitched up,” Rankin said.

“Congratulations to Terri Harper on becoming a two-weight world champion.

“I’ll heal up and I’ll be back. Thank you to everyone for the support.”

Harper is a former super featherweight world champion having held the IBO and WBC titles before losing them last year and surprised many with her move to super welterweight.

Prior to the fight, Rankin was confident that her natural power, weight and three-inch height advantage would be too much for Harper, who moved up three weight classes for this bout but in fact, there were few signs in the 10 rounds that Harper was uncomfortable as a super welterweight.

The 25-year-old’s superior hand speed and accuracy immediately caused Rankin problems, with the cut on the Scot’s eyebrow a direct result of Harper’s sharp punches.

This defeat was the sixth of Rankin’s career, moving her record to 12-6, and the bout with Natasha Jonas that the Scot so craved as she looked to unify the division will have to wait, with Harper likely to be Jonas’ next opponent now.