LUSS boxer Hannah Rankin says she’s eager to be back in action after confirming details of her first fight of 2021.

The former Hermitage Academy pupil – who shrugged off a bout of Covid prior to Christmas – will travel to South Africa to take on former two weight champion Kholosa Ndobayini next month.

The bout, scheduled for March 13 in Cape Town, comes off the back of Rankin’s loss to Savannah Marshall in October, when the Scot was stopped for the first time since turning pro in 2018.

Rankin is dropping to the welterweight division for the fight for the first time in her career to take on the South African native, who has a career record of 13 wins and nine losses.

It’s a change of plan for the 30-year-old, who was initially looking to box in the super welterweights following the defeat to Marshall – but she is looking forward to the prospect of coming up against new and different opponents.

Speaking to the Advertiser, she said: “I’ll find any means necessary to get a fight and it’ll be my first in the welterweight division so it’s very exciting.

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“I stepped up to middleweight for the fight with Savannah, and it was clear to me in the fight that I wanted to go back down to the super welterweight but I’m actually going down one more to welterweight.

“I feel there’s more opportunities arising in that division and I’m going to be bigger and stronger as a welterweight fighter.

“I’ve been working slowly at getting the weight off since Boxing Day really. I didn’t want to crash it all off at my first time making the weight – I’ve always focused on making weight safely.”

The fight will also allow Rankin to tick an item off her ‘bucket list’ by visiting Cape Town – though there’ll be no time to enjoy the country as a tourist from her Covid-secure bubble.

She explained: “A lot of people have already said to me I need to go to this place and that place, but what normally happens is I get there, go into my fight bubble and stay in the same area of the hotel until I pass a Covid test – I don’t really have time for sightseeing.

“I’ll make my weight and do the fight and that’ll be it - I might get some nice views from out of the car window!”

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Rankin returned to Luss to visit family just before Christmas, and visited Helensburgh gym Combat Central to keep herself ticking over during the festive period.

Her visit was cut short by the new lockdown restrictions imposed by the government – but she revealed it was for the best that she travelled back down south.

“I made the decision to get back down to London,” she added, “but it was the right decision, even though I wanted to stay with everybody.

“I have access to all my training facilities in London, which I wouldn’t have had at home, and my coach is in London too.

“Having had Covid before Christmas I thought I might have needed a little longer to get back to my level of fitness that I’m at now.”

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