LUSS boxer Hannah Rankin is targeting three wins from as many fights this year as she makes her first steps in the welterweight division, starting this Friday in Cape Town.

The 30-year-old takes on Kholosa Ndobayini in the South African capital on March 12 as she looks to return to winning ways following defeat to Savannah Marshall in October.

Rankin, Scotland’s first female world boxing champion, is dropping from the middleweight division into welterweight for the first time in her career and the former Hermitage Academy pupil believes that she is on track to make weight ahead of the fight.

Speaking to the Advertiser, she said: “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.

“I’m coming down in the weight really nicely and I’m excited to show what I’ve got.

“I’m aiming to have three fights this year – Covid permitting of course.

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“With the new option of going to South Africa – and there are still opportunities here in the UK – the goal is to have three fights and pick up three wins at the new weight, and potentially a title, but I’m focused on getting myself in contention for world titles in 2022.”

Rankin’s opponent is looking to bounce back from defeat herself following successive losses to Matshidiso Mokebisi at the end of 2020.

Ndobayini has a career record of 13 victories, including three knockouts, and nine defeats, and is a former two-weight champion.

Rankin knows she is in for a tough evening against the home country hero but hopes the studying she has put in on her challenger will be enough to see her arm raised in victory at the end of the night.

She explained: “My opponent is quite experienced, and has a winning record, so it’s a good opponent for me to go up against, and I’m looking forward to it.

“She’s going to be a little shorter than me - I’m always going to be tall as a welterweight anyway.

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“Having been South African champ twice she’ll definitely be coming out for a good scrap.

“We’re co-main event on the card so it’s good to get women in the limelight out there.

“I’ve watched some videos of her with my coach, so we’ve got a game plan and everything is sorted out. I’m feeling ready and feeling focused.

“It’s my first time at the weight so I’ll just go out there and work to my game plan.”

The fight is available to watch online with tickets available at – simply search ‘boxing’ on the website and the card can be purchased for the price of £7.45.

Rankin hopes to have friends, family and supporters back home watching.

She added: “People can watch from wherever they are in the world which is really exciting.”

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