June 20, 2024

Fans of ONE Championship are awaiting for an official statement on when the promotion will reset the much-awaited title fight between reigning strawweight world champion Joshua Pacio and American challenger Jarred Brooks.

Pacio and Brooks are supposed to headline the ONE 158 on June 3 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, but Asia’s biggest media sports promotion came out with a new fight card changing the main card without the names of the two fighters.

The Team Lakay camp had no official statement on why the title fight was cancelled, including Pacio, who remains in best shape even after the change in the main card.

Earlier reports stated conflict in scheduling caused the pull-out of the original main card, but fans wanted more explanations.

Recent reports added the brash American challenger reportedly suffered injury in training, but the camp of Brooks is yet to issue an official statement.

Pacio emerged a two-division world champion after defeating Yosuke Saruta for the belt via knockout in their championship bout in April 2019.

The Team Lakay prized fighter successfully defended the title against fellow Filipino compatriot Rene Catalan via arm triangle choke in November 2019. He was also challenged by former world champion Alex Silva, whom he defeated via split decision in January 2020.

Pacio again defended the belt against Saruta in their epic trilogy via technical knockout in September 2021.

The 29-year-old Brooks earned the right to fight Pacio after taking all the title contenders in the division by storm.

He first eliminated Team Lakay’s rising star Lito Adiwang via arm triangle choke in October 2021. He also survived the gritty Japanese Koha Minowa via unanimous decision in January before defeating erstwhile top contender Masunyane in April.

Since last year, Brooks has been taunting Pacio to be ready, as he will be the next title challenger and eventually become the new division king. – Harley F. Palangchao