It seems a long time ago that Denice Zamboanga was promised a shot at champion Angela Lee. Since then the Filipina has been controversially eliminated from the atomweight Grand Prix while the Hawaiian has had a baby.

Zamboanga still wants to face Lee but wonders if the champion can ever recapture the form which made her the promotion’s first and only atomweight champion,

“It really depends on how dedicated Angela is to come back. She is a mother now, and she has reached a level of success that most of us only dream of. She might not have that burning desire to win anymore,” she said.

Falling stars

Zamboanga compares Lee to UFC legends Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor who both saw their form dip dramatically after reaching the absolute pinnacle of the sport,

“Success changes people in different ways. We’ve seen it affect fighters like Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor. It’s hard to stay at the top because every fight is your biggest fight ever. But then again, some fighters come back better than ever before.”

Zamboanga still thinks that Lee is a top fighter. But she questions how the champion will cope with the mental side of the game when she makes her long awaited comeback next year,

“Angela has the tools, and I know she will do anything to keep the atomweight belt but this is a mental game as much as it is physical. Angela has reached all of her dreams in this sport and has had a fantastic career. That kind of takes away from the fire.”

People’s fight

With the winner of the Grand Prix guaranteed a title shot Zamboanga is clearly not at the head of the queue. But she thinks a fight between her and Lee is what the fans want to see,

“I’ve been waiting to fight her for such a long time now. I still think I deserve that fight. And so many fans want to see it. They want to see me fight Angela Lee. The media have covered our fight a lot as well. And I think there’s just overwhelming interest to see this fight.”