After successfully defending his ONE Strawweight World Title for two consecutive occasions, Joshua Pacio is looking to extend his championship reign as he faces a familiar foe in Yosuke Saruta on September 24 at ONE: Revolution.
The two will be meeting again for a trilogy bout after Saruta stripped the title from Pacio in their first match last January 2019 via a close and controversial split decision win.
Then, in April of the same year, “The Passion” took back the golden strap by winning the immediate rematch through a head kick knockout in the fourth round. Then he proceeded to beat Filipino compatriot, Rene Catalan and former champion Alex Silva respectively.
Before his rubber match with the Japanese, we’ve had an exclusive written interview with the champion himself.
When asked about his thoughts about the trilogy fight with Yosuke, Joshua thought that he might have closed the chapter with him since he won convincingly in their second encounter.
“Personally I don’t think a 3rd bout against Saruta is necessary after our last encounter. In our last bout, it was a clear victory for us, but I see the rankings and he’s occupying the number 1 slot, so I think he deserves to face me,” Pacio said.
Having been able to share the cage with the same opponent for two occurrences might play an advantage on how you could approach the third bout, and the 25-year old athlete declares a better version of himself going into this match.
“In this trilogy with Saruta, you will see a more self-assured Joshua Pacio and way complete. I know that my previous bouts didn’t show everything about “The Passion” but this time around, I will give my all to perform and enforce every single skill that we have been working on,” Joshua claimed. “A more audacious Joshua Pacio will take the stage this time and more all-inclusive athlete,” he added.
Another victory from Saruta will take off another contender from his list and will be bracing himself for another pack of hungry contenders in the division. Although he didn’t specify any names on who could he potentially face next after this bout, he offered a suggestion.
“The answer depends who ONE thinks the most deserving. From my part, I’d like to see Naito versus Bokang squaring first off then the winner can be the next contender.”
Despite the weight and responsibility of being the king of the Strawweights, Joshua Pacio is also looking forward to seeing his Team Lakay teammates succeed and eventually capture the world title in their respective divisions.
“Of course, we are very happy and it’s the fruits of our hard toiling and we are intending to prove more. I’m just so excited too for my teammates like Stephen Loman, Danny, Jeremy, Jenelyn and Jhanlo because I’m in no doubt that they will become champions in the near future.”
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