After Reclaiming World Title, Joshua Pacio Expects Tougher Challenges Ahead

Winning back the ONE Strawweight World Title is indeed a cause for celebration, but Joshua “The Passion” Pacio plans on giving himself less time to celebrate as he sees a storm brewing ahead.

As he enters the second half of the year as the reinstated king of ONE Championship’s 56.7-kilogram weight class, his fellow strawweights have their eyes set on him, upgrading their skills, looking to have their own run to reach the top of the ladder.

Japanese stars Hayato Suzuki, Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito and Filipino veteran Rene “The Challenger” Catalan are some of the top dogs to name a few in Pacio’s division who is looking at their shot at the prestigious gold-plated strap.

While the 23-year-old Baguio City native is pretty much aware of the tough assignments awaiting for him, the Filipino star is definitely up for the challenge.

“After my win last April, I know that I have to improve cause. Being a champion, I understand that there are a lot of top contenders who wants to be a champion,” said Pacio.

“These challenges give me more reasons to be motivated. I have to be a better Joshua Pacio in my next fight.”

In his title-clinching victory in his last outing, Pacio dominated Japan’s Yosuke “The Ninja” Saruta in their rematch from start to finish en route to a fourth-round knockout in the co-main event of ONE: ROOTS OF HONOR, which emanated from the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines last 12 April.

Showing his much-improved form, Pacio punished his determined Japanese foe with his better mindset which was anchored by his upgraded tools inside the ONE circle.

For the Team Lakay phenom, his experiences from the past will help definitely help him as he welcomes the visitors to his throne.

“Those losses in the past, the experience that I gained from the amateurs to the pros, it’s a big part of my victories now,” said Pacio.

“I believe that all the losses that I experienced here in ONE will only prepare me for the future as I look for a long reign as World Champion.”

“I need to stay hungry and motivated, this is my passion that’s why win or lose, I want to be better than what I was.”

Although he redeemed himself in the eyes of his countrymen, complacency still has no place in Pacio’s vocabulary, keeping a watchful eye on his talent-filled division.

“As a champion, I need to raise my level. I need to work on everything, not just my weaknesses but also my strengths,” shared Pacio.

“I need to be more well-rounded and add more things to my arsenal, from striking, wrestling and grappling just to make sure that I’m equipped to hold this belt for a long time.”

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Author: Robert Belen

Robert Belen is a long-time combat sports writer for dSource Boxing. An avid sports fan, he knows no fear nor partiality in his reporting. If you have a problem with him, tell it to his face. (We bid you not.) You can follow him on Twitter @robertbelen

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