ONE Championship: Joshua Pacio more focused and more confident heading into title rematch with Yosuke Saruta
Santino Honasan on Apr 11, 2019 02:33 PM
“Expect niyo na ipapakita ko yung gameplan na hindi ko naipakita nung January. [Mas aggressive], wala na yung atras-atras,” - Joshua Pacio
Team Lakay strawweight Joshua “The Passion” Pacio vows not to make the same mistake he did back in January when he lost the ONE Strawweight World Championship to Japan’s Yosuke “The Ninja” Saruta.
Pacio and Saruta run it back for the title in the co-main event of ONE: Roots of Honor this coming Friday, April 12th at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The 23-year old Team Lakay star says now that he’s the challenger again, he’s coming in hungrier and more motivated to reclaim the title and bring a championship back home to Baguio once again.
“Para sa akin is mas-focused [ako] and yung confidence lang talaga yung kailangan kong ilabas sa fight namin,” Pacio shared. “Kasi yun nga, yung nakita ko dun sa past bout namin, medyo bumaba yung confidence ko, and ngayon na challenger ako ulit, mas umangat yung hunger na mabawi ulit yung belt.”
Pacio adds that he expected Saruta to add a new wrinkle to his game for this title rematch.
“Wag mag kumpiyansa, kasi pinanood natin yung past fight niya kay Alex Silva, wala naman yung [ginagawa niya sa siko niya] eh, pero nung sa akin, medyo nag-iba, atsaka expect natin na may bago siyang ipapakita.”
Pacio admits to being a bit hesitant during their first bout which saw Saruta escape with a razor-thin Split Decision win in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Fortunately for Pacio, ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong felt that Pacio deserved to win, and earned an immediate rematch.
“Expect niyo na ipapakita ko yung gameplan na hindi ko naipakita nung January. [Mas aggressive], wala na yung atras-atras,” Pacio shared.
Pacio also hopes to be able to break Team Lakay’s losing streak in ONE Championship world title bouts, which coincidentally enough, began with him when he dropped the title to Saruta.
Geje Eustaquio, Kevin Belingon, and Eduard Folayang have all lost their titles since.
“Kailangan mo ulit makuha [yung championship], kailangan mo mabawi yung talagang sa’yo, tsaka pag nakuha na natin yun, kailangan yung hunger na manalo, andun parin.”
“May dagdag motivation, pero at the same time, kailangan ipakita na clear win. Kung manalo man sa decision, kailangan maipakita na i-dominate yung round one to five, at kung may opportunity na tapusin, tapusin yung fight,” Pacio added.
Of all the world champions that Team Lakay had, Pacio is a bit on the lucky side, having an immediate opportunity to recapture the title just three months after losing it.
Pacio maintains however, that losing is a part of the game, and the important thing is to be able to learn and improve from those losses.
“We lose some, we win some, pero kailangan may natutunan ka sa losses na yun, and kailangan i-prove sa next na fight mo na nag-improve ka at may natutunan ka sa loss na yun.”
Catch ONE: Roots of Honor on Friday, April 12th at 8:30 PM, LIVE on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23 and on the iWant app!