Denice Zamboanga says she’ll choke out Ham Seo Hee in rematch at ONE X
SINGAPORE–Denice Zamboanga is determined not to leave it up to the judges this time against Ham Seo Hee.
In fact, she’s confident that she will be able to beat her Korean rival thoroughly in their much awaited rematch as part of the packed ONE: X fight card on Saturday at Singapore Stadium here.
“I’m gonna choke her out and put her to sleep,” said Zamboanga on Wednesday during the final media day for the Filipino fighters ahead of the promotion’s 10th anniversary event.
It’s not surprising that Zamboanga is going for broke against Ham considering how their last fight in September last year ended, with the veteran Ham taking a controversial split decision victory over then No. 1 ranked Zamboanga–a result that was even placed under review and subsequently upheld.
While Zamboanga was convinced that she was the true winner of that fight, she said has since turned her focus in making sure there’s no room for doubt when she goes for the victory.
“Those controversies served as my motivation to win this fight and finish her during our match,” said Zamboanga in Filipino. “I’m ready to fight 100 percent.”
Zamboanga said she will unleash another side of her in the cage on Sunday, feeling much more prepared this time physically and mentally. During training camp, the Filipino fighter’s team put emphasis on improving her grappling with the goal of ending the night in submission.
But that’s not to say she didn’t upgrade all aspects of her game, especially her striking.
“I can say my striking has really improved this time. You will see different Denice Zamboanga. In the last fight, I threw punches sparingly but this time, there will be a lot more power.”
Zamboanga is also expecting a grittier Ham to show up, acknowledging that what the 35-year-old multi-time champion showed in September 2021 wasn’t the extent of her true skills.
“I agree with what [Ham] said [that she wasn’t able to show her true self then]. She wasn’t throwing that much punches, she wasn’t kicking a lot; she was just on the defense. That’s not usually her game plan, so I’m expecting that she’s going to be a lot different this time,” Zamboanga said of Ham.
More than getting vindication, though, Zamboanga has bigger reasons for chasing that bounce back victory.
“This rematch is so important for me. If I lose this, it will be so much harder to contend for the title again that’s why I’m really focused so I can get my chance to fight for the belt.”
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