BECOMING Scotland’s first female world boxing champion has changed everything and nothing for Hannah Rankin.

The IBO super-welterweight title-holder from Luss is preparing to step back into the ring for the first time since her breakthrough victory in Paisley four months ago.

Having the belt has helped raise her profile both among the Scottish public but also in the United States where next weekend she will fight for a third time in Flint, Michigan against the veteran Erin Toughill.

The Americans may end up seeing quite a bit of her. The 29-year-old has signed a new promotional contract with Salita Promotions, hooked up with a local co-manager in Mark Taffet and spent the past week training alongside Claressa Shields, the two-time Olympic gold medallist and undisputed world middleweight champion on whose bill she is fighting on Saturday.

“Having the belt changes the perspective a bit and hopefully gets me back on the radar for a shot at other world titles,” said Rankin.

“I’m so focused for the journey ahead because becoming world champion was just the first step. It’s opened a lot of doors for me. It’s allowed me to sign with Salita Promotions which should help get me more of the big fights that I’ve been looking for.

“A lot of them will be in America as most of my opponents are based in that part of the world, especially in my weight class. There are a lot of Scottish people in America so I tend to get really good support. It’s great to be flying the flag for Scots abroad.”

With her fight against Toughill – a one-time Gladiator on the American television show – just a six-rounder, her first defence of the world title won’t take place until November when she is due to fight in Malta.

But she hasn’t ruled out returning to fight again in Scotland, with co-manager Sam Kynoch still looking after her affairs on this side of the Atlantic.

“I’ll definitely fight in Scotland again at some point as there’s nothing like a Scottish crowd. When I was walking to the ring for the world title fight all the kids from Kynoch Boxing gym and their mates gave me a guard of honour. That gave me goosebumps. I didn’t expect that so to get that sort of love from the young team was amazing.

“In the weeks after the fight I was just overwhelmed by how much support I got from everyone in Scotland. I was getting messages from people left, right and centre. People I had never met before were telling me how proud they were to have a female world champion. The Scots always get behind other Scots and it means a lot to have such good support.

“I’m extremely proud to be Scotland’s first female world champion. It comes with a lot of responsibility. I’ve had a lot of messages from kids who are excited for me and I think it’s nice for them to see a female world champion, especially the girls.”

If that has all been life-changing then some things have remained the same, with Rankin still doing the day job – classical musician, teacher and gym instructor - to pay the bills.

“I’m still really busy with my other work so not much has changed on that front. I’ve going to be doing some work with the UFC Gym UK brand as I’ve become accredited to do those classes so that will start soon.

“If I was a world champion as a man I’d be sitting on my yacht but it’s not quite the same for a woman. So I still need to do my other work.

“But I’ve got one of the best teams in the boxing business. Mark got in touch to say he would like to manage me when I’m fighting in America and that was great to be asked. Him and Sam get on really well and are both smart people so they look after my interests really well.

“I’d love to unify at my weight one day or become a two-weight world champion. There’s lots to look forward to.”