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    Joshua Pacio picks Brooks over Bokang in world title eliminator

    Apr 21, 2022
    Joshua Pacio
    PHOTO: one championship

    REIGNING ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua Pacio is already making his pick ahead of the world title eliminator between his top two contenders Bokang Masunyane and Jarred Brooks.

    Joshua Pacio on Brooks vs Bokang

    To the king of the strawweights, it's clear that as closely contested as this match will be, the American is poised to come away with his hands raised over the South African challenger.

    "For me, Brooks has been more impressive. He faced two top-five contenders and beat them. [But] I’m not discounting the fact that Bokang beat Rene when he was still in the rankings and knocked him out quickly," he said.

    Pacio is closely watching the upcoming duel between the no. 1-ranked Masunyane and the no. 2-ranked Brooks at ONE 156: Eersel vs. Sadikovic this Friday in Singapore, with the winner poised to be the next in line to challenge for the crown.

    Though he already made his prediction, the Filipino champ also believes that this match will go the distance given the pedigree of both fighters.

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    "Both guys are amazing and they have the ability to finish anyone, but I think this one’s headed to a decision. They come from the same background, and I expect this to be a grind in the wrestling department," he said. "But this is MMA. We also know that they can strike. Jarred showed great striking against Minowa. Then, of course, who’ll forget Bokang’s knockout of Rene, so anything can happen. If someone gets knocked out I wouldn’t be surprised, but I really see this going to the judges."

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    Brooks, known as The Monkey God, has been good as advertised since joining ONE as he made Lito Adiwang tap out last November before dominating Hiroba Minowa for the unanimous decision win last January.

    Masunyane, though, isn't the no. 1 contender for nothing as the Little Giant has been unbeaten through his eight matches, including a first round knockout win over Rene Catalan back in December 2020.

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      Nonetheless, Pacio understands that Brooks' experience will be the difference maker in this duel against Masunyane.

      "This is hard, but I’m looking at the experience of Brooks. And given that it’s only a three-rounder, I’m siding more with Brooks by decision mainly because of that experience," he said.

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      PHOTO: one championship
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