June 24, 2024

The much-awaited championship bout between reigning ONE strawweight world champion Joshua Pacio and American challenger Jarred Brooks has been set as the main event of ONE 158 in Singapore on June 3.

The championship match was scheduled earlier than what fans are expecting, as Brooks just earned the title berth after eliminating erstwhile contender Bokang Masunyane last month.

Regardless, the 26-year-old Pacio has been training full throttle since the start of the year while monitoring who among the top contenders in the division will earn the slot to challenge him for the title.

Pacio emerged as 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, meanwhile, 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 2022 before defeating 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.

Brooks has finally gotten his wish.

By finishing Ma-sunyane, Brooks moved his record to 19 wins against two losses, earned the number one contender spot, and was awarded the next shot at Pacio’s ONE strawweight world title.

Pacio, on the hand, has vowed to show Brooks who the daddy is in the division while avoiding to respond to the relentless taunting of the American challenger. – Harley F. Palangchao