ONE Championship: Joshua Pacio's mindset keeps him hungry
Santino Honasan on Sep 21, 2018 11:29 AM
"Iniisip ko na nasa amateur pa rin ako, pero pag lumabas na ako ng dugout, doon ko narerealize na nasa big stage na ako."
At just 22 years of age, Team Lakay strawweight star Joshua Pacio is already heavily experienced, especially in ONE Championship.
At ONE: Conquest of Heroes on Saturday, Pacio has the opportunity to avenge his 2016 loss to Yoshitaka Naito when the two duke it out once again in the main event for the ONE Strawweight World Championship.
Should Pacio pull off the win, he becomes just the latest member of the famed Team Lakay stable to bring home ONE Championship gold.
More importantly, he becomes the third current reigning world champion.
Pacio is trying to follow in the footsteps of former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio Banario, former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard Folayang, current reigning ONE Interim Bantamweight World Champion Kevin Belingon, and reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje Eustaquio.
Being surrounded by this much prestige is just one of the motivating factors that Pacio has to become the best in his division.
"Syempre nakaka-proud, kasi maraming kababayan na naniniwala na kaya nating iuwi yung belt," shared Pacio during Thursday's open workouts. "Kaya gagawin ko yung lahat para maiuwi ko [yung belt]."
"Pag nauwi ko yun, unexplainable feeling." he added.
Another thing that's keeping Pacio hungry is the mindset that he instils in himself.
Back in 2016, after just his second win under the ONE Championship promotion, Pacio couldn't help but look back at how far he's come in his career.
"Hindi pa din ako makapaniwala na dati, nasa Upper Box lang ako noon na nanonood sa kanila, tapos ngayon lumalaban na."
Two years and some high-profile fights later, Pacio is still in awe of the direction his career has gone.
"Para sa akin, parang di pa rin ako makapaniwala kasi sa isip ko, nasa baba pa rin ako."
And while it's easy to get lost in the magnitude of the situation, Pacio maintains that in his mind, he's still carrying the mentality of an amatuer fighter who's out to prove himself.
"Naka-concentrate ako pag laban. Win, win lang talaga, doon ako nakaconcentrate." Pacio added. "Iniisip ko na nasa amateur pa rin ako, pero pag lumabas na ako ng dugout, doon ko narerealize na nasa big stage na ako."
On Saturday, September 22nd at the Jakarta Convention Center, Pacio returns to the biggest stage and hopes to be able to take home the game's biggest prize.
Joshua Pacio challenges Yoshitaka Naito for the ONE Flyweight World Championship at ONE: Conquest of Heroes on Saturday, September 22nd. Catch it LIVE starting at 10:30 PM on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23!