Pacio to stick to game-plan vs Saruta

After losing his crown last January, Joshua Pacio is getting ready to get back the title he lost to Japanese Yosuke “The Ninja” Saruta.

Pacio to stick to game-plan vs Saruta
Joshua Pacio (right) and Yosuke “The Ninja” Saruta (left) with ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong​
This time, the 23-year-old Pacio said he has learned his lesson.

And he will take his learnings to heart when he faces Saruta in the strawweight division again on Friday in one of two main events of the ONE: Roots of Honor at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

“The last time na nagharap kami, na off-guard ako. Na-out of focus ako. Ngayon, hindi na ako magpapahadlang sa mga ibang iniisip ko. I will stick to the game plan,” said Pacio during a presentation yesterday at the City of Dreams in Pasay City.

The 31-year-old Saruta, a last-minute replacement to injured Hayato Suzuki, won by a split decision to Pacio last January in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Pacio went on take his third loss against 13 wins at the hands of Saruta, who has since improved his record to 19-8-3 (win-loss-draw).

The 5'3" Saruta has scored his second straight triumph since beating Alex Silva via unanimous decision last December.

Team Lakay coach Mark Sangiao said Pacio may be seeking a chance to make a comeback against Saruta, but he is in no hurry to do it.

“Very professional siya. Natuto na siya sa mga pagkakamali niya. He is motivated para makuha niya ulit,” said Sangiao of Pacio, who is from La Trinidad, Benguet.



Pacio's bout against Saruta will be one of two main events being offered, the other being the battle between Vietnamese-American Martin Nguyen and former featherweight champion Narantungalag Jadambaa of Mongolia.

Nguyen, who took centerstage in 2017 when he captured a World Championship in both the lightweight and featherweight divisions, will go for his 14th win in 17 encounters when he takes on Jadambaa.

There will be 13 supporting bouts, including those of the Kelly brothers in the featherweight side and Ramon Gonzales in the strawweight class.

The elder Eric Kelly meets Kwon Won Il of Korea, while the younger Edward takes on Sung Jong Lee.

On the other hand, Gonzales fights it out with Japanese fighter Akihiro Fujisawa.



Topics: Joshua Pacio , Yosuke “The Ninja” Saruta , ONE: Roots of Honor , Hayato Suzuki
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