Joshua Pacio has recently been on the receiving end of Jarred Brooks’ constant verbal assaults. However, he’s remained calm under the pressure.
The ONE strawweight world champion has ruled the division since April 2019 when he knocked out Yosuke Saruta to start his second reign. Pacio has since defended the strap three times, while also bearing the trash talk Brooks has delivered every step of the way.
In an interview with ONE Championship, Joshua Pacio admitted that Brooks would be his most difficult opponent to date. Despite that, the Filipino star maintained that he won’t be giving up the gold that easily.
“If I face Brooks now, he’ll be one of my toughest fights. But I’m a champion for a reason. If they want to take the belt, it’s not going to be a walk in the park. I’ve worked hard for this, my team has worked hard for this, so I’m not going to give this up easily.”
Joshua Pacio is arguably the greatest strawweight in ONE Championship history. He's defeated every former champion and top contender that has come his way in the circle so far.
The strawweight king has an extensive list of impressive victories, including over Saruta, Alex Silva, Yoshitaka Naito, Pongsiri Mitsatit, and Rene Catalan. He’s also one of Team Lakay’s most well-rounded finishers.
Despite his dominant run, Pacio has been Brooks’ favorite target. The American has cut promos on Pacio since he arrived in ONE Championship in late 2021. The UFC veteran even learned a bit of Filipino to talk trash to ‘The Passion’.
Joshua Pacio gives Jarred Brooks and Bokang Masunyane some pointers
Reigning as strawweight champion for a long time has given Pacio a different perspective on how fights work. He even gave Brooks and No.1-ranked contender Bokang Masunyane some pointers on how to take the win.
Brooks, the No.2 contender, and Masunyane will face each other in a title eliminator at ONE: Eersel vs. Sadikovic on April 22. The event will be broadcast live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Pacio said Masunyane has to survive Brooks’ early onslaught in the first round and take control in the next two frames to get the victory.
“For me, if Bokang weathers the storm in the first round, he’ll be in a good spot. I’m not saying Brooks will gas out because he’s always well-prepared, but I feel like Bokang can control the second and third round,” said Pacio.
Pacio said Brooks has the edge in experience. According to the champ, competing in the top promotions of the sport should have given ‘The Monkey God’ some valuable tools in his arsenal.
“One advantage that Brooks has is his experience. He’s been competing at the top level for the longest time. Bokang is top-level as well, but Brooks’ experience in competing there for a long time is his edge.”
We'll see if Brooks can make his experience count on April 22.