ONE strawweight champion Joshua Pacio — ONE CHAMPIONSHIP

FILIPINO champion fighter Joshua Pacio will do everything to cling into his ONE strawweight title belt. And it includes keeping tabs on his potential challengers like Jarred Brooks and Hiroba Minowa.

Mr. Pacio will get to watch the strengths and weaknesses of both Messrs. Brooks and Minowa as the latter two are scheduled to clash in the ONE: Only the Brave on Jan. 28 at Singapore Indoor Stadium.

The winner of the Brooks-Minowa duel could end up as a potential foe for Mr. Pacio.

“The strawweight division is getting more and more stacked and this excites me because this pushes me to become better and better everyday. This motivates me to level up every single day,” said Mr. Pacio, who boasts of an impressive 20-3 record including the last one against Yosuke Saruta for a successful third title defense.

Apart from Messrs. Brooks and Minowa, who are ranked third and fourth in the division, respectively, Mr. Pacio is also keeping an eye on No. 1 contender Bokang Mansunaye.

Mr. Pacio said all three have different styles.

“(Messrs.) Jared and Bokang are more explosive athletes and they are very athletic coming from their wrestling background. As compared to (Mr.) Minowa who is more of a relaxed athlete, but when he gets to his rhythm, he can take you down and pressure you just like [Yoshitaka] Naito,” said Mr. Pacio.

Filipinos Jeremy Miado and Robin Catalan are also fast emerging in the division and Mr. Pacio isn’t turning a blind eye on them.

“I’m very happy to see Filipinos emerge in this weight class, this is really a weight class for a lot of Asian athletes like me,” he said.

“Jeremy Miado is leveling up and we saw that in his last outing against Miao Li Tao. He just dominated the fight, using his range and boxing skills. And (Mr.) Robin, this guy can close the show in the blink of an eye just like what he did to Gustavo [Balart].” — Joey Villar