As Pacio showdown looms, Rene Catalan admits he wants to avoid facing fellow Filipino
MANILA, Philippines—Rene Catalan’s road to becoming a world champion will likely take him to a potential all-Filipino showdown with strawweight king Joshua Pacio.
Pacio regained the strawweight world title after knocking out Yosuke Saruta in their rematch in ONE: Roots of Honor last April 12 in Manila that likely locked up a fight against the surging Catalan.
Catalan couldn’t help but laud the 23-year-old Pacio’s performance against the tough-as-nails Saruta.
“Pacio was well prepared, and he was really determined to get the belt from Saruta,” Catalan said.
“Pacio just kept on pushing for the entire match. He timed Saruta well and capitalized on his mistake. Pacio was so determined to get that knockout, which he eventually got.”
The 40-year-old Catalan couldn’t wait for his shot at a world title but if given a choice, he wouldn’t want to face his compatriot.
“I really don’t want to face another Filipino. We’re of the same blood. I have always supported Filipino athletes. I want to keep supporting Filipino athletes and as much as possible, I’d like to avoid fighting them,” he said.
But if taking on Pacio would be the case, Catalan will be more than ready for the challenge.
“I won’t promise anything, but I’ll certainly be looking for that knockout,” Catalan stated. “If the match pushes through, I’ll do everything to get that win.”
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