Daniel Jacobs recognizes that he is expected to perform like a 25-1 favorite Friday night.
The former IBF middleweight champion therefore feels as though anything less than a spectacular performance against Gabe Rosado will reflect poorly on him. Most boxing fans wanted Jacobs to face a top opponent in his second appearance as a full-fledged super middleweight, but Jacobs opted to settle a score with the trash-talking Rosado.
The 33-year-old Jacobs (36-3, 30 KOs) hopes to become the first foe in nearly six years to stop Rosado inside the distance when they square off in a 12-round, 168-pound bout.
“Gabe Rosado is a personal grudge match,” Jacobs said during a virtual conference call Tuesday. “I won’t count this as a stepping stone. But at the same time, I do need to look impressive, I do need to be spectacular. And if I don’t get the knockout, I need to at least dominate this guy every round because he’s not in the caliber of a guy that the public thinks, you know, I need to be in there with, that represents, you know, the top tiers of the super middleweight division.”
DAZN will stream Jacobs-Rosado as the main event of a five-fight card at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. Philadelphia’s Rosado (25-12-1, 14 KOs, 1 NC), who has gone 2-3-1 in his past six bouts, believes Jacobs obviously is overlooking him, toward higher-profile fights in 2021.
Brooklyn’s Jacobs insists he is taking Rosado seriously and is intent to prove Rosado doesn’t operate on his level.
“I feel like it’s important to always look spectacular,” Jacobs said. “You always have to send a message with your performance – whether it’s to the fans, that you’re still relevant, that you’re still one of the top players in the game, and also to, you know, my peers in the boxing game. You know, the super middleweight division is a new division for me, so I need to come in and make a statement regardless to who I’m in there with.
“I think Gabe Rosado is maybe not the most skillful fighter or respected fighter, in terms of being the top tiers of the division. So, if I would do anything else other than have a spectacular performance … it wouldn’t be great for my career. But like I said before, every time I’m in there with a fighter, I wanna make a statement.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.