Pacio, a ‘friend’ of pressure, eyes end of Team Lakay’s trilogy torment
Joshua Pacio is no stranger to the growing belief that trilogies have become Team Lakay’s source of torment.
“That has been asked of me. But I don’t really believe in such things,” he said with a chuckle, on Friday during a virtual media availability ahead of his strawweight title clash against the familiar Yosuke Saruta in Singapore next weekend.
“I am confident—a hundred percent—that we’re ready physically and spiritually,” he went on. “I’m ready to break that [notion].”
The famed Benguet fight stable has produced multiple champions in ONE over the last decade. Eduard Folayang, Kevin Belingon, Geje Eustaquio and Pacio, at one point, ruled their respective weight classes at the same time.
All of them have forged rivalries in the Asian promotion: Folayang with Shinya Aoki in the lightweight class, Belingon with Bibiano Fernandes in the bantamweight division, Eustaquio with Adriano Moraes over at flyweight, and Pacio with Saruta.
Pacio’s senior teammates all bowed down to their rivals in their respective third meetings, but for the young Lakay standout, that’s just some trivia that people fancy throwing around.
Which also explains why he’s raring to go.
“At 1-1, we’re finally going to know who’s going to capture that [win number] 2,” said Pacio.
There’s much more pressing concerns that hounds Pacio ahead of the Sept. 24 showcase at Singapore Indoor Stadium, where he will be joined by compatriots Roel Rosauro of Cebu and teammate Lito Adiwang, who is finally competing after getting sidelined by COVID-19 during the summer.
Pacio is the last Filipino titleholder standing in the promotion after Brandon Vera lost the heavyweight strap to Olympian Arjan Bhullar last May.
“There’s pressure, of course,” he said. “But it’s not as intense. I’ve been doing this for quite some time now that I’ve become friends with pressure.”
“Whoever wants it more will surely win. But I’m here to stay,” said Pacio.