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ONE's Denice Zamboanga explains callout of friend Stamp Fairtex; Thai superstar responds

The Filipina is willing to blast through anyone to get a shot at the ONE women's atomweight world title.
denice-zamboanga

Denice Zamboanga (9-2) has the atomweight division's top dogs in her sights now that she's back on the winning track. 

The 25-year-old Filipina star earned a hard-fought split-decision victory over Lin Heqin to kick off "ONE on Prime Video 5: De Ridder vs. Malykhin" this past Friday, and she used her post-fight interview to call out Stamp Fairtex (9-2).

Given the pair's history as friends and former training partners, some fans were surprised by "The Menace's" comments following her win at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines, but she explained her choice to go after the No. 1-ranked atomweight contender. 

Zamboanga said:

"It's because I already fought most of the top five. She's now ranked No. 1. I want to get back to my number one spot."

Zamboanga and Stamp became close friends when they trained together at Fairtex Training Center in Pattaya, Thailand – and they've maintained a good relationship since. However, both athletes have their eyes on Angela Lee's ONE women's atomweight world title.

With that goal in mind, the No. 3-ranked Filipina knows she'll have to square off with Stamp at some point. While she admits it's not ideal, "The Menace" doesn't think that it has to affect their relationship once business is finished inside the ONE circle.

She said:

"Yes, 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.

"Of course (we'll go back to being friends after the fight). We love each other, she knows it."

Stamp thinks Zamboanga still has work to do

ONE women's atomweight world grand prix champion Fairtex earned her No. 1 spot in the division with three strong showings en route to the tournament's silver belt, and she thinks that her old friend Zamboanga needs to do more to get a shot at her ranking.

Prior to her win over Heqin in Manila, "The Menace" dropped back-to-back decisions to No. 2-ranked Seo Hee Ham, and Stamp feels like that's a problem the Filipino needs to address before they meet in The Home of Martial Arts.

Stamp said:

"Tell her to beat Seo Hee Ham first. She lost to her twice. Beat her first, then let's talk."

This story first published at ONEFC.com.