After all, the Thai phenom had been on a roll since making her promotional debut last year, while the 23-year-old California native was making her first ONE Super Series appearance.
“I think I was definitely viewed as an underdog heading into this fight, which is totally fine. It doesn’t hurt my feelings at all,” Buntan says.
“But I think I put my name out there, and people know who I am now, so I’m excited to get in there again.”
Everything worked out for Buntan in the strawweight battle against Wondergirl.
The biggest highlight came late in the first round when a crushing left hook floored the Fairtex representative. For a moment, it appeared that the Filipina-American might score the early knockout win.
Wondergirl showed great resilience to get back up and compete for three rounds, but the Boxing Works product would not be denied in her debut on the global stage.
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Buntan looked two steps ahead of her Thai foe, as she utilized her impressive boxing and superior footwork, landed cross-hook combinations at will, and moved in and out of harm’s way beautifully.
“One-hundred percent [the fight went my way],” the California resident says. “The game plan and strategy were there, and we knew that she’d be doing what she did, so it just worked out perfectly in my favor.
“I think my speed, my timing, and my feints definitely gave her trouble. The more shots I landed on her, I physically saw I was hurting her, so I knew I had to throw these hands throughout the whole fight and it worked out.”
As impressive as her performance was, Buntan admits to feeling some butterflies leading to ONE: FISTS OF FURY.
But by the time the Circle Door closed and the opening bell rang, that nervousness was put aside and it was game on for the young debutant.
“I feel like every fight I had jitters, and this time I definitely had it here with ONE being such a big company, “ Buntan recalls.
“I was here for [teammate and reigning atomweight queen] Janet’s [Todd] first fight. I was able to see all the media, the lights, the cameras, and of course they had a huge audience, so I knew what to expect coming into it. That definitely helped out.
“It was so surreal – going from the warm-up room up to my marker to make my walkout was just so quick. I was like, ‘Oh my God, I’m not ready for this.’ But once I got in the cage and we touched gloves, time kind of slowed down. I feel like I was in that slow state and it felt like home.”
Following the stunning performance, Buntan received tremendous support from her family and friends in the United States. She also added many new fans from the country her parents hail from – the Philippines.
Now, the California-based striker hopes she can compete in the Philippine capital once the COVID-19 pandemic nears its end.
“I literally feel like I have a whole nation rooting for me back at home. I felt that with me, and I took it to the cage,” Buntan says. “I can’t thank everybody enough for all the love and support.
“To all my Filipino supporters, I love you all and hopefully I’ll be able to fight in Manila when all this craziness goes away.”