Stamp Fairtex is on a quest to become a record-breaking three-sport ONE World Champion, and she will take another step forward in her journey on Friday, 8 November.
As she prepares for her women’s atomweight clash at the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines, the Thai hero realizes she would not have reached this point if not for her manager, Philip Wong.
“I’m so happy and grateful for this opportunity he has given me, and how far he has taken my career,” the 21-year-old says.
In recent years, Stamp — who was raised by a family of fruit farmers in Rayong, Thailand — has emerged as a leader in the country’s female martial arts movement.
Though she trained in “the art of eight limbs” with her family members during her childhood and competed all throughout the nation, her career was taken to the next level when she met Wong, who is also the owner and managing director of Fairtex.
“He really thinks of the future for me. He is very calculated in the decisions he makes, and he is always thinking long term,” she explains.
“He’s got a fierce personality, and he will give us a stern talking to at the gym. He might get mad at us sometimes, but in the end, he is a very kind man.”
For the past two and a half years, Stamp has been sharpening her skills at the Fairtex Training Center in nearby Pattaya.
In that short amount of time, Wong molded his young charge into an incredibly accomplished young woman and a world-class competitor as fierce as his personality.
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After impressing with her 19-second head kick knockout at ONE Warrior Series 2 in July 2018, the Thai hero joined ONE Super Series and soared to unimaginable heights.
In October 2018, Stamp defeated then-titleholder Chuang Kai Ting via unanimous decision in her main roster debut to claim the ONE Atomweight Kickboxing World Title.
She followed that up by beating Janet “JT” Todd via unanimous decision in February to win the inaugural ONE Atomweight Muay Thai World Title. By doing so, she became the first two-sport ONE World Champion in history.
Now firmly entrenched in ONE Championship as one of the promotion’s leading female stars, the Fairtex representative credits Wong for her miraculous success.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be a World Champion, especially with such a prestigious organization like ONE. I had almost given up on fighting,” she confesses.
“Ever since I came to Fairtex and started being managed by Mr. Wong, all aspects of my life have improved.
“I’m forever grateful to him for bringing me to Fairtex and taking care of me, but also for being so kind. He has a lot of life experience that he shares with me. He tells me to save money and is a good role model, too.”
Stamp takes his advice to heart. After all, Wong is a beloved figure in the Muay Thai community.
Ever since launching the Fairtex brand in 1971 and opening the company’s original gym in 1975, Wong has been very hands-on when it comes to the legacy he has built.
Whether it is creating a plan for the future, overseeing his athlete’s training camps, or just helping with the day-to-day operations at the facility, he remains a fundamental part of the gym’s culture.
“If any of us have a big fight coming up, he’ll sit there through the training sessions to make sure we train properly. He makes sure we get special nutrition like extra fish and vitamins, too,” she explains.
“When he is at the gym, we all work extra hard to impress him. We’re a bit scared, too, because we want to do our best around him. He pushes the trainers as well and keeps them on their toes.
“He doesn’t need to be there — he is 70 already. But he wants to be there for us, and we appreciate it.”
The bond goes a lot deeper than just the regular manager-athlete relationship, however. In fact, there is a father-daughter dynamic between the pair.
Wong has helped to look after Stamp’s training and her diet, and he even dispensed some financial advice when her bank account started to grow.
As the Thai star’s career continues to flourish, it is obvious the lessons Wong has imparted on her are sure to have an everlasting effect.
“He taught me that becoming a champion is like climbing a mountain— the higher the mountain, the colder it gets,” she offers. “He said that I must train even harder and be more focused if I want to stay on top.”
Stamp is motivated to become a three-sport ONE World Champion, and she is more focused than ever on her mixed martial arts showdown with Nguyen in the Philippine capital next week. A victory in Manila will bring her a step closer to fulfilling her ultimate goal.
Manila | 8 November | MASTERS OF FATE | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onefate19