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Opponents are dancing to the tune of Scots boxer Hannah Rankin

Hannah Rankin with trainer Noel Callan (Butterfly boxing / Naterlie Mayhew)
Hannah Rankin with trainer Noel Callan (Butterfly boxing / Naterlie Mayhew)

A BOXING bassoonist is hitting the right notes in and out of the ring.

Hannah Rankin, a pro boxer and professional musician, will be the first Scottish female to fight for the Commonwealth title, a belt that heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua won on his way to the top of the sport.

But the 27-year-old’s dream hinges on completing a race against time to raise the money needed to put on the Paisley fight.

“Because I don’t yet have a promoter, my team and I have to cover the costs,” explained Hannah, from Luss near Loch Lomond.

“I have to pay all the expenses of my opponent. I also have to pay the governing body for the officials, the belt and the sanctioning fee. It comes to around £3000, which we hope to raise partly through ticket sales and sponsorship.

“But some of my friends in London who won’t be able to travel up for the fight asked if they could donate, so I set up a GoFundMe page and have already raised more than £1200.”

The fight, for the vacant super welterweight Commonwealth title, was originally supposed to take place last Saturday but was postponed due to her opponent’s visa issues. It has now been rescheduled for June 16, giving Hannah more time to raise the cash and take another step towards a world title shot.

“It’s great to follow in the footsteps of these guys,” said Hannah, speaking about Joshua and fellow Scottish boxer Josh Taylor, who both won the Commonwealth title.

“To be the first girl from Scotland to get a shot at it is really exciting and I feel like I’m flying the flag.”

Hannah had her first professional fight just last May, and has won four of her five fights to date.

Inspired by her late mum Clare, Hannah began piano lessons at eight, learned the flute at 10 and moved on to the bassoon while at Hermitage Academy in Helensburgh. She graduated from the Royal Conservatoire in Glasgow and then moved south to study for her Masters.

“My music is going well and I’m doing lots of teaching, too,” she added.

Hannah’s played with orchestras, including with the St Petersburg Ballet Theatre, in theatres around the world.

But it’s the squared circle where Hannah now hopes to make the biggest noise.

See uk.gofundme.com/my-boxing-commonwealth-title-shot