Denice Zamboanga made headlines with her decision to call out Stamp Fairtex after beating Heqin Lin at ONE on Prime Video 5 last weekend. The two atomweights are friends and used to train together in Pattaya.
Speaking after the fight Zamboanga wanted to make it clear that there is no bad blood between her and Stamp. The Filipina simply wants to move up the rankings and sees her former training partner as a stepping stone on that journey,
“It’s because I already fought most of the top five. She’s now ranked number one. I want to get back to my number one spot.”
Denice Zamboanga and Lin Heqin are kicking off ONE on Prime Video 5 with a BANG! 💥
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) December 3, 2022
From the moment both fighters were entered in the atomweight Grand Prix together Zamboanga has been aware that there was a possibility she would be matched with Stamp. But she never seemed particularly enthusiastic about the prospect and this is the first time the 25 year old has openly called for the fight to be made.
But it is clearly not because the two fighters have had a falling out. Zamboanga still has a lot of love for Stamp and says it was ‘difficult’ to call her out,
“It’s very difficult to call out a friend, of course. With Stamp, I love her, but this is business. It’s all about business, it’s nothing personal.”
Zamboanga has already lost twice to Seo Hee Ham, who is the only fighter currently ranked above her. It doesn’t sound like she wants to face the Korean for a third time and it is not a match which would be particularly attractive for fight fans at present.
Stamp responded to Zamboanga’s call out by telling her she needs to beat Seo Hee Ham first. But the Thai did it with a smile and burst into laughter afterwards, which suggests she was not being entirely serious.
View this post on Instagram
Next in line
A title bout with reigning atomweight champion Angela Lee looks likely to be next on the agenda for Ham. But if Zamboanga and Stamp were to face off the winner would clearly be next in line.
Zamboanga is clearly an ambitious individual and isn’t about to let the friendship with Stamp stand between her and her title dreams. She knows the only way to secure a title shot is to beat one of the contenders above her.
Stamp fits the profile perfectly but Zamboanga wants to make it clear that it was strictly a business to decision to call her out. On a personal level she has nothing but love for the Thai atomweight,
“We love each other, she knows it.”