Joshua Pacio has heard Jarred Brooks rapping and he is impressed. The two men have been engaged in an ongoing war of words but the reigning strawweight champion has nothing but praise for his opponent’s musical abilities.
They will finally face off at ONE 164 in December. It is a bout that has been in the works for the best part of a year and Pacio challenges Brooks to do a live rap as part of his entrance,
“I’ve heard his rap and I think it’s great. Those are some great mic skills, to be honest. He can make a new one and use it as his entrance music, rap his way to the circle. Then after, I will go and knock him out.”
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A live rap by Brooks is very unlikely to go down well with the fans in Manila. In fact anything that the American does is likely to get a bad reaction from the Filipino fans given how well publicized the hostility between him and Pacio has been.
But the champion acknowledges that his American opponent has well and truly earned his title shot,
“Jarred earned his spot at the top. He beat a lot of big names, all the guys in the top five. All I can say is that he’s a very dangerous opponent and this isn’t going to be an easy fight by any means. He’s no walk in the park.”
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) January 28, 2022
Pacio has been on the ONE Championship roster since 2016. Brooks only signed last year and the champion warns that he is not going to give up the belt he is holding for the second time without a struggle,
“At the same time, I can say it won’t be easy for him to take the belt either. I’ve worked hard for this for many years. There can only be one winner in the fight, but I know no matter what, it won’t be easy for him. I’m extremely confident I can beat him and retain my world title.”
Brooks has been able to impose his wrestling game on his previous opponents. Pacio sees himself as having an advantage when it comes to striking but knows he will have to pick his moments,
“I think it’s going to come down to the scrambles, finding the right timing, and picking my shots. I don’t mind trading with him, but I have to be smart about it.”
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) September 6, 2022
He is confident that the finish will come but Pacio knows he has five rounds in which to find it. The Team Lakay representative believes it will be crucial that he bides his time and doesn’t rush to finish the fight,
“We’re going to come in very comfortable, wait patiently for opportunities, and just fight a smart fight with a good game plan. I have many weapons to knock him out.”
Having fought in front of empty stadiums on several occasions during the pandemic ONE 164 might have an unfamiliar feel for Pacio. The MOA Arena is likely to be packed to the rafters but it will be crucial for the Filipino to keep his nerve.
If he is able to become the first fighter to truly finish Brooks it really will be a homecoming to remember for the Filipino.