Just as his initial run, two-time ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua Pacio vowed to be a fighting champion.
Friday evening, the 23-year-old standout from Team Lakay put a definitive end to his short-lived feud against Yosuke Saruta in the co-main event of ONE: Roots of Honor.
“In our first bout, I think I had lots of errors. Fifty-fifty eh – some think I won, some don’t,” recalled the proud son of Baguio City.
“But this time around, I didn’t leave it to the judges’ hands.”
Unlike their controversial first bout 83 days in Indonesia, Pacio made sure that there would be no questions raised this time around. He knocked Saruta out with a swift right head kick to win the crown once more.
And there will be no rematch.
“That was definitive. If you get knocked out like that, you got to work your way back up,” said ONE Championship chairman Chatri Sityodtong.
It was a satisfying win not only for Pacio personally, but for the entire Team Lakay stable.
Over the first three months of the year, the Mark Sangiao-mentored squad lost four of its world championships.
“Speechless at napakasaya.
“Wala nang duda ang mga tao. Satisfying win ito hindi lang para sa akin, kung hindi para sa team ko. We worked hard for it,” expressed Pacio.
Pacio is not a fellow to choose his fights. And he will take on anyone ONE Championship puts in his way.
“Para sa akin, kung sino man ang ibigay ng ONE Championship, I’ll be ready.”
And this includes a strawweight who owns the longest active winning streak in ONE’s strawweight division – Rene Catalan, who is in the midst of a six-bout winning run.
“Kahit yung paramihan ng winning streak.”