Excitement is already in the air as a potential all-Filipino World Title match looms between ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio (17-3) and streaking challenger Rene Catalan (6-2).
This early, both Filipinos have no plans of backing down should the World Title match take place.
Pacio recently said that he could see himself winning by TKO in the third round should that match happen.
Catalan, on the other hand, sees things differently.
“His goal is a TKO in the third round, right? My goal is to win every round,” said Catalan.
“I am happy that a Filipino is a World Champion. To be honest, I really don’t want to face a fellow Filipino,” the 40-year-old native of Santa Barabara, Iloilo added.
“But if they want a war then, by all means, I’m ready.”
After winning his last six matches, Catalan has certainly put himself in the radar for a potential World Title shot.
Talks of that World Title showdown with Pacio even intensified when he stopped former World Titlist Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito at ONE: Reign of Valor in Yangon, Myanmar.
Catalan bared that this is not the first time that he will cross paths with Team Lakay, with wushu as their common denominator.
“I know them.
“Every national competition before they’ll be saying something but I just laugh it off. I know them but they do not know me,” disclosed Catalan, who is an Asian Games gold medalist in Wushu (Sanshou).
Despite their rivalry, Catalan holds Pacio in high regard, noting the 23-year-old’s determination and youthful vigor.
But he’s heard all the talk before and be certainly isn’t one to back down.
“He’s young and determined,” Catalan admitted. “Many times I’ve heard they’ll beat me and I simply reply,
Despite everything that has been said and done, Catalan admitted that he will come in as an underdog to the World Champion.
The leader of Catalan Fighting Systems assures that his determination will play a huge factor when he faces Pacio inside the ONE circle.
“Expect a good fight and I will show our team concept which is strength, age, and training camp,” Catalan said.
“I don’t have as much experience as them, but if he is the one blocking my goal, I will look to repeat what I did to Naito so I can reach my goal,” he continued.
“I may be weaker, but I’m hungry to win.”
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