MANILA—Joshua Pacio said that there is no way someone can destroy his fighting spirit.
This as he responded to Yosuke Saruta's statement that he vows to do it when they face off again for the ONE strawweight title at ONE: Revolution at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
"You can never break an Igorot warrior's fighting spirit," Pacio said on Friday in a virtual press conference.
He even said that Saruta was saying such because his own spirit was broken when he was knocked out in their rematch in Pasay in 2019.
"Yun yung nangyari sa amin nung rematch namin. Rounds 1-3, nakaipon ako ng shots sa body nya--back kicks and punches. Noong Round 3, doon ko nakita ang mata nya na pagkatapos kong tamaan yung tiyan nya, tumitingin-tingin sya sa corner nya. That time, alam ko na na na-break ko yung fighting spirit nya," Pacio recalled what went down in that bout.
The trilogy match will be Pacio's first fight after 20 months of absence mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
And he vowed that the fans would still see him perform as if he did not take a layoff at all.
"Ipapakita natin na [ako ay] walang ring rust na sinasabi nila kasi kahit na long layoff, nararamdaman pa rin natin yung ramdam na lumalaban ng five rounds sa loob ng gym. Ramdam ko yun sa training namin, and we're ready," Pacio added.
He even said that fighting Saruta for the third time is the better match-up for him in his comeback fight.
"Mas alam natin yung tao eh. Mas kilala natin yung skills nya," Pacio further said.
At the end of the day, however, according to him, it all boils down to who will enter the ONE Circle with a bigger fighting spirit.
"Who wants it more, siya yung mananalo dito," Pacio continued.
But he vowed, "I'm here to stay. Hindi masasayang yung sacrifices ko, ng coaches ko, at ng teammates ko."
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