“Buena Mano” is a Spanish term often heard among locals to describe the well-accepted Filipino concept that the first customer or the initial sale would dictate the outcome of things for the day.
On Saturday morning, Filipina vixen Denice Zamboanga squared off against China’s Lin Heqin in a women’s atomweight bout, which served as the curtain-raising contest to set the tone of the ONE on Prime Video 5 broadcast.
Zamboanga truly understood the assignment that was given to her, as she warmed up the crowd inside the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila and the viewers back home with an all-around vanquishing of her Chinese opponent.
Sporting her old moniker once again, “The Menace” struck fear and took Lin to situations where “The Fighting Sister” had never been before.
Zamboanga wasted no time punishing Lin in the stand-up, delivering a series of blistering combinations of punches that immediately opened the floodgates of blood from her opponent’s nose in the opening minutes of the first frame.
Driven to widen the gap between her and Lin and seize full control of the action, Zamboanga decided to change levels and shot for a double-leg takedown. However, the Filipina was caught with a solid counter right coming in.
Her survival instinct kicked in right away as she quickly returned to her feet and restarted the attack on the feet where she forced Lin to be her stationary target for the remainder of the period.
Zamboanga never took the same gamble in the second and third rounds as she maintained the striking exchanges with her crisp right hand finding home in consistent fashion.
Stifled by her foe’s advances, Lin made a last-ditch effort to turn the tide near the midway point of the final stanza, catching the Filipina with clean blows that created a huge welt beside Zamboanga right eye.
Zamboanga’s composure was a key element in the closing moments as she avoided getting carried away with the intensity of Lin, which allowed her to see holes to land the much cleaner shots.
In the end, two of the three judges at cageside awarded the victory by way of split decision to Zamboanga.
Though the outcome on the scorecards could have gone either way, Zamboanga knew she had it in the bag.
“I’m not scared because I know I have the advantage on striking,” she said in her post-fight interview.
Zamboanga heaved a sigh of relief with the sweet victory over Lin as she finally managed to arrest her two-fight losing skid with a bonus of an upgraded professional record of 9-2.
In addition, it was a homecoming of sorts for Zamboanga, who last performed in front of her compatriots in November 2018 when she thwarted Eun Bi Cho under the URCC banner.
It seems that “The Menace” is adamant to reinsert her name into the ever-changing women’s atomweight Top Five, calling out close friend and No. 1-ranked contender Stamp Fairtex.
“I have interest in taking the ranked No. 1 atomweight, Stamp [Fairtex], if I beat her, I can possibly fight the champion,” Zamboanga expressed.
On the other hand, Lin suffered her second consecutive setback this year and dropped to a 15-5-1.