Set to take on the biggest fight of his career on September 22, Joshua Pacio is quite fortunate to have a strong support group in Team Lakay.
The squad projects Pacio to win not just because he's a member of the group, but because his teammates believe he's truly capable of upsetting reigning ONE strawweight champion Yoshitaka Naito.
Pacio and Naito will collide in the main event of ONE: Conquest of Heroes at Jakarta Convention Center.
“Joshua is a diligent kid who has chased his dreams and built his career with his bare hands. Everything he has achieved today has come through hard work and dedication. You do not see that in many kids in their 20s today. It is rare," said former lightweight champion Eduard Folayang in an article posted on ONE Championship's official website.
Undisputed ONE flyweight champion Geje Eustaquio said Pacio learned from experience after losing his first encounter with Naito.
In October 2016, Pacio was leading the fight when Naito pulled off a rear naked choke that forced the Filipino to tap out.
“Having been able to challenge for the title at 20, it came as a surprise, and he handled it well. He took the experience, and absorbed what he needed from it," said Eustaquio.
“With Joshua’s tools, he can beat Naito this time around and claim the gold."
Kevin Belingon believes Pacio will stop Naito.
“If he keeps working hard, maintains his discipline, and remains humble, the sky is the limit for Joshua. I think this time around, he is going to beat Naito by knockout,” he said.
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