AFTER boxing both Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez, Daniel Jacobs could be forgiven for seeing Gabriel Rosado as a step down for him when the two box on Friday (November 27) at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Florida.
But Jacobs insists, “He’s a gutsy guy and he gives his best and he never backs down from any opponent. I feel like there is a skill difference but the fact that he is a durable guy, the fact that he comes and brings it, and most people won’t project him to be the winner, I think it will still serve as a good fight and that’s what I’m training for. I’m training for a really competitive fight for as long as it lasts.
“The fact that I haven’t fought since last December is another reason I’m taking a fight such as this,” he adds. “I’ve been coping as best I can. I’m based in Atlanta now so Atlanta’s been pretty high in its [coronavirus] cases. So I’ve just been staying home as best I can, staying safe with my family and doing the best that I can to preserve my health. But at the same time knowing that I had this fight coming up I had to come out and step outside and make the most of what I could. It’s hard. I feel like some people have certain situations and it works out for them and some people don’t. For the first part of Covid I didn’t have the best training and now second tier of Covid I’ve been able to get good training. So it’s been great.”
Rosado is also an outspoken opponent, to add to the appeal for Jacobs. “I think he’s succeeded to the point where he can get the fight. I don’t think he’ll succeed as far as getting inside my mind on fight night or letting me change my gameplan, making me want to hurt him or go out not being a professional athlete. I mean I’ve been boxing for more than half my life so I know how to handle situations like this. I just think the only thing he has been successful with is being able to obtain this fight because in the past I said that he will never step in the ring with me because he doesn’t deserve to. But Covid happened,” Jacobs said.
It will be only the American’s second fight as a super-middleweight. “It’s an incredible difference. I feel incredibly strong inside camp. I don’t have to worry about weight and mentally that gives you a great edge in training because you’re able to focus on your skills, you’re able to focus on your opponent and not so much your diet and losing weight. Even though we have a great diet, there’s not so many restrictions like we’re used to having. So I can be 100 per cent healthy and strong at my physical best when I’m inside that ring,” Jacobs said.
Though he was 168lbs in his last fight, previous opponent Julio Cesar Chavez Jnr wasn’t. The son of the Mexican legend came in over the weight limit before quitting on his stool in the fight and prompting a near riot from the crowd. “Chavez was a full fledged cruiserweight!” he said. “I would say he quit on his stool. Me being the one in there that’s fighting, knowing what’s going on, I knew the shots that were landing. I knew his temperament. I knew certain things in that ring, that the fighter’s instinct is to feel when you’re hunting down and you’re trying to kill. I felt that after the third round. Because the first one or two rounds you’re fresh, you want to give it your all, he tried his best to knock me out. But when he realised he couldn’t do it and I was coming into my own, acclimating to his weight and his power punches and withstanding them, giving back some as well, that’s when he started to go downhill. So when I looked over at the corner I’d seen him shaking his head and saying that he didn’t want to fight and all of a sudden it was like, wow, this man is really quitting on his stool. So for me it was an impressive TKO.”
“I was shocked. I thought we were going to at least go quite a few more rounds,” Jacobs continued. “But I couldn’t realise his nose was broke after that fifth round.”
If he’s successful against Rosado on Friday, he’ll be a super-middleweight on the same broadcaster, DAZN, as his former opponent Canelo Alvarez’s bout with Callum Smith next month. Jacobs will be waiting in the wings for the victor. “Now that I’m stepping up to the super-middleweight division there are endless opportunities,” he says, “I know I just have to put myself back in the position to earn the respect of the boxing peers and to become a world champion. Because ultimately I want to be a Hall of Fame fighter so these are certain things that I have to do.”