After breaking Lakay’s trilogy curse with emphatic win, Pacio eyes tiebreaker vs first tormentor



Joshua Pacio Saruta

Picture from ONE Championship

Joshua Pacio let loose a guttural scream as quickly as referee Justin Brown pulled him away from Yosuke Saruta through the ONE: Revolution showpiece late Friday evening.

He did it once more for 4 extra instances earlier than members of Staff Lakay raised him for all of these at Singapore Indoor Stadium—and the 1000’s watching on-line—to see.

“It has been very, very satisfying,” Pacio informed reporters nearly after a first-round knockout of Saruta for a win that made him the promotion’s undisputed strawweight champion.

“There had been plenty of challenges throughout this pandemic: Lockdowns, an harm and this COVID-19 which locked me down for practically 5 weeks. Recovering was onerous, too,” he added.

All of these hurdles—which amounted to almost 20 months of layoff—hardly mattered as Pacio wanted simply lower than a spherical to eliminate his Japanese foe.

“Each combat I get into, I count on it to go 5 or three rounds. I didn’t count on a really quick end [with this one],” he stated.

“I used to be shocked that [Saruta] was kicking me, desirous to go putting with me. I believed, ‘That is my bread-and-butter. That is my world.’ I used to be like, ‘Yeah, convey it on!’”

Barrage of punches

Pacio, also called a succesful submission artist, caught Saruta’s low kick and returned hearth with an overhand proper.

“I felt my knuckles land on his chin. So I made a decision to observe it up,” he stated of the following barrage of punches that cornered Saruta and triggered the bell.

Pacio’s victory over Saruta not solely places to mattress his rivalry with the very man who reduce quick his first championship reign, it additionally cemented the Filipino striker’s place as one of many promotion’s front-facing athletes as he now additionally holds 11 wins—probably the most within the weight class.

Pacio additionally made good along with his promise to finish a sure chatter that has lengthy hounded his crew.

“I simply needed to show lots of people incorrect for saying that trilogy fights are a curse to Staff Lakay. I don’t imagine that. I broke that curse tonight,” he stated.

The 25-year-old Pacio, who has overwhelmed each former champion in his division, is now seeking to finish one other trilogy towards former champion Yoshitaka Naito, the fighter who handed him his first defeat.

Naito first pressured Pacio to submit in October 2016, earlier than the Staff Lakay stalwart scored a payback two years later to seize the strawweight title.

“I wish to do … a trilogy with Naito,” stated Pacio.

Different outcomes

Earlier within the card, Pacio’s stablemate Lito Adiwang put collectively crisp putting show and held on towards groin-hitting Hexigetu for a unanimous determination victory, whereas Cebuano Roel Rosauro faltered within the second spherical towards newcomer James Yang in a one-sided featherweight contest.

Later within the occasion, Okay Rae Yoon dethroned light-weight champion Christian Lee by way of unanimous determination in a match that had pundits and followers elevating their eyebrows as soon as once more.

“This determination is just not sitting properly with me. If I had misplaced the combat, I’d hold my mouth shut, however I didn’t,” stated Lee, who’s the second fighter to determine in a questionable determination simply weeks after Filipino Denice Zamboanga misplaced to Search engine marketing See Ham within the ladies’s atomweight grand prix.

Paradoxically, Lee is the youthful brother of atomweight queen Angela who will face whoever emerges champion through the grand prix. Zamboanga was alleged to problem Angela for her crown, however the title duel was scrubbed by the pandemic and, later, by the latter’s being pregnant. —WITH A REPORT FROM BONG LOZADA

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