Joshua Pacio is the first of Team Lakay to regain his championship belt after four consecutive title defense losses in a span of a few months Toledo IV
Pacio's ONE victory signals Lakay comeback, says coach
Luisa Morales ( - April 13, 2019 - 12:38pm

MANILA, Philippines — After a grueling losing streak that saw Team Lakay lose four world titles in a row, the Baguio-based club was finally able to rise from the ashes with Joshua Pacio regaining the strawweight world title at ONE: Roots of Honor at the Mall of Asia Arena Friday night.

Pacio, who was the first Lakay athlete to give up his belt earlier this year to Yosuke Saruta, exacted revenge on the Japanese fighter in front of Filipino fans.

"Satisfying win [ito], di lang para sakin kundi para sa team ko," Pacio said after the bout.

Eager to get back at Saruta after losing the title via split decision, Pacio left nothing to doubt. 

The Fillipino finished off Saruta with a stellar kick to the head that TKO'ed the defending champion in the fourth round.

And for Pacio's team, this is the perfect starting point of Lakay's return to glory.

"I'm very happy... It's the start to getting back the belts again," Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao said in the post-bout press conference.

Lakay stablemate Edward Kelly also came home with a win in a 2-0 night for the Baguio-based fighters. 

Eduard Folayang, who was the last to lose his belt in March, takes inspiration from Pacio and Kelly's victories.

"I think they are the start of an encouragement for everyone in the team. We have lost the four titles... [but] this guy was able to rise up again," Folayang said.

"I think that's the best way to start another training camp," he added.

Kevin Belingon will most likely be the next Lakay fighter to get a chance to win back his title.

ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong has already ordered an automatic rematch between Belingon and Brazilian foe Bibiano Fernandes after their previous bout ended in a DQ decision against Belingon.

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