Unbeaten in Manila, Pacio vows to keep winning tradition
Former ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio believes that having the hometown advantage will play a huge factor when he tries to reclaim his World Title next month.
Pacio is scheduled to challenge ONE Strawweight World Champion Yasuke “Tobizaru” Saruta of Japan in the co-main event of ONE: ROOTS OF HONOR at the Mall of Asia Arena on 12 April.
This is the much-awaited rematch of their close first encounter back in January at ONE: ETERNAL GLORY where Saruta took the ONE Strawweight crown from Pacio in a contested split-decision victory.
Now, Pacio savors the opportunity of reclaiming his lost World Title in front of his countryment.
"To become a World Champion again is fulfilling as an athlete, but to do it in front of your hometown crowd is beyond special. I'll do my best to capture again the ONE Strawweight World Title. I want my fans to be proud of me," Pacio said.
Certainly, his fans are proud everytime he battles in Manila.
Pacio has won all three of his matches in Manila, his latest a submission win over Pongsiri Mitsatit, where the so-called “Passion Lock,” an inverted kimura, made its debut.
"Manila has been very good to me. I feel very motivated every time I hear the crowd cheering and chanting my name,” said Pacio.
The feeling is priceless, and it gives me added strength both physically and mentally. I'm very motivated heading to this match. I won't let my fans down,” he added.
But Pacio knows that battling Saruta in front of his hometown can only give him a bit of an advantage, and at the end of the day, he’s going to need to dig deep if he wants to regain his lost crown.
"He's very athletic and strong. I know that this won't be an easy task, but my team and I have a perfect game plan for this fight. I’m in the best shape of my life, and with the crowd behind me, expect the best Joshua Pacio on April 12.”