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Joshua Pacio scores repeat KO of Yosuke Saruta, stays as ONE strawweight champ

Joshua Pacio fought as if he was not out of action for a long time. ONE Championship (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Joshua Pacio is back!

The Team Lakay stalwart made a triumphant return after over a year and a half in style, knocking out Japanese rival Yosuke Saruta in their third showdown for the ONE strawweight title at ONE: Revolution on Friday night at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Despite being relegated to just training amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Pacio showed that he did not have the "ring rust" everyone was expecting, quickly downing Saruta with a right hook.

Although Saruta had some good moments of his own like some kicks to the leg that staggered Pacio a bit, it was actually through Saruta's leg kick that Pacio began his finish.

Just as Saruta connected on a leg kick, Pacio connected on a right hook that wobbled him before landing a series of left punches that forced referee Justin Brown to stop the fight at the 3:48 mark of the first round.

Pacio ended his trilogy with Saruta with his second consecutive knockout win over him even as he moved up to 19-3 overall, winning his last four fights and successfully defending his ONE Championship gold for the third straight time.

Saruta, on the other hand, fell to 21-10-3.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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