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

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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