ONE: Joshua Pacio embraces new normal with Team Lakay stablemate
MANILA, Philippines—The coronavirus pandemic has left the Philippines in a state of uncertainty, leaving athletes searching their normal routine during the lockdown.
ONE strawweight World champion Joshua Pacio, however, used the lengthened downtime to not only get back to basics when it comes to training but also to reconnect on a spiritual level.
Left to train at his home in Benguet with the Team Lakay gym closed, Pacio still found a way to maintain his championship edge.
Pacio is neighbors Team Lakay stablemate Kevin Belingon, the former bantamweight World champion, and the two have been regularly teaming up for drills.
“The hardest part is that we can’t go to the gym to train, that’s why we have to find ways inside our homes. In the past years, we were lacking training equipment in the gym,” said Pacio.
“This is not new to us, so we find ways to stay sharp. Luckily I have punching mitts and manong Kevin and I are in the same barangay so we hold pads for each other.”
Pacio (17-3), a two-time strawweight champion, also turned to God to find calmness amid the health crisis.
The Philippines has 6,981 confirmed cases, but Pacio looked to his religion to find serenity in the current madness.
“The important thing for me in this kind of situation is praying to God,” said Pacio. “He is the only one who knows what’s going to happen. Trusting in God in this kind of situation is important and of course we should trust Him not only in these situations but in good times or bad.”
Also helping Pacio in his everyday routine is his pet god whom he’s put on a weight-loss program.
The 24-year-old also said his beagle has gotten chunkier, adding another reason to up his training for his furry companion to shed the pounds.
“Actually, this pandemic taught me more on how to bond with my dog and my dog is getting fat so I need to go run or jog with her,” said Pacio.