EXPECT a more aggressive Joshua Pacio come Friday when he tries to reclaim the ONE Strawweight Championship against Yosuke Saruta at ONE: Roots of Honor at Mall of Asia Arena.
The 23-year-old Igorot fighter was well aware of his tentativeness in the first two rounds which his camp feels cost him the match.
This time, though, Pacio promises a more decisive approach as he meets his Japanese rival anew.
"The last time na nagharap kami, medyo na-caught off guard ako, medyo na out of focus ako. Pero ngayon, I’m more focused and I'm more confident. Hindi na ako maghe-hesitate kung anong gusto kong ibato and of course, I will stick to our gameplan," he said on Tuesday during the press conference at City of Dreams.
Pacio, who sports a 13-3 card, is also aware of how his dismal performance in ONE: Eternal Glory in Jakarta back in January showed the gap between him and the 31-year-old Saruta, who holds a 19-8 record.
"Last time kasi nagmukhang rookie versus veteran yung laban. Pero ngayon mas focused na talaga ako and more confident," he said. "Hindi ko na iisipin yung advantage niya sa experience and age, basta I will go out there and do everything."
That's why with him having a chance to be a two-time champion, Pacio is embracing the opportunity as he once again aims to prove that Team Lakay fighters are indeed "kings of rematches."
"Hindi na bago ito sa amin. We’re used to it," he said. "Yung pressure, kaibigan na namin yan. Nasa sa amin na yan kung paano kami mag-deal and kung paano natin makukuha ulit yung belt."