Joshua Pacio has had his say on the upcoming strawweight title eliminator. The reigning champion will face either Jarred Brooks or Bokang Masunyane with the two top ranked fighters in the division facing off for the right to challenge him.

The fight is set for ONE: ‘Reloaded’ this month and Pacio’s message was short and sweet:

Best man

Pacio simply says ‘may the best man win’. Brooks has tried hard to provoke the Filipino and has implied that the champion is ducking him and trying to delay the fight.

The American might have been trying to talk his way into a title shot. He didn’t succeed but Brooks is now just one win away from a fight with the champion.

While Brooks has taken the division by storm with two wins in quick succession Masunyane has been relatively inactive. He missed all of 2020 but is coming off a very impressive head kick knockout win over Rene Catalan at ONE: ‘Big Bang’.

Jarred Brooks about to face Hiroba Minowa at ONE: 'Only the Brave' in the Singapore Indoor Stadium

Perfect record

Masunyane is undefeated and brings a perfect professional record of 8-0 into the fight. Brooks has experienced defeat but has also been in with some of the top flyweights in the world during a career that has taken him from the UFC to Rizin to ONE Championship.

Pacio only managed one fight in 2020 but it couldn’t have gone much better. He stopped Yosuke Saruta in the opening round at ONE: ‘Revolution’ completing a trilogy of title bouts with the Japanese fighter.

If Brooks has succeeded in getting under Pacio’s skin then the champion isn’t letting it show. He knows that the shortlist of fighters to challenge him is down to two and that only one man can emerge victorious on April 22nd.

But Pacio seems to be sitting firmly on the fence. If he has a preference than the Filipino isn’t letting it show and is simply content to say ‘may the best man win’.