Close  

Two-time strawweight champ Joshua Pacio just scratching the surface

By: - Reporter / @BLozadaINQ
/ 12:15 PM April 14, 2019
Joshua Pacio

Joshua Pacio. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines—Joshua Pacio is on his second reign as the ONE World strawweight champion, and the Team Lakay youngster said he’s far from reaching his full potential.

The 23-year-old Baguio native reclaimed his gold when he knocked Yosuke Saruta out 2:43 into the fourth round in the co-main event of ONE: Roots of Honor with a crushing right knee to the temple.

ADVERTISEMENT

Pacio’s victory erased his earlier loss to Saruta, who earned the controversial split decision win back on January 19 in Jakarta.

“There are so many people saying that this is my pinnacle, that this is my peak but I still have many years left in me,” said Pacio in Filipino Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena. “This isn’t my peak, I still have so many things to learn. The other fighters are leveling up, so I too should level up.”

FEATURED STORIES
SPORTS

Pacio (14-3) had his first reign as champion when he beat Yoshitaka Naito on Sept. 22, 2018 in Jakarta but his rule over the strawweight division lasted just four months after he lost to Saruta.

Sityodtong immediately ordered a rematch and it was in the second bout that Pacio showed that he truly was king of the 125-pound division.

Pacio and Saruta (19-9) were locked in a tight contest for the first three rounds with neither fighter getting clear control over the other.

Saruta scored an early knock down and complimented it with a couple of takedowns but it was Pacio who had the better striking game continually pushing back the Japanese with spinning heel kicks.

“Our first fight had a lot of errors, some said it was 50-50,” said Pacio. “Some said I won, some said I didn’t, but this time I didn’t leave it to the judges’ hands.”

“Coach Mark (Sangiao) told me that when I enter the cage I should be 101 percent confident and that I shouldn’t hesitate to throw combinations and that’s what I did.”

ADVERTISEMENT
Read Next
LATEST STORIES
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Joshua Pacio, One Championship, Sports, Team Lakay
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2019 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.