Getting back to boxing every couple of months after an unwanted COVID-19 pandemic hiatus is just what Jose Jacobo needed.
And having to chance to fight at Grand Island’s Heartland Events Center for the second time in four months is something he definitely wanted.
The now Lincoln resident returns to his hometown to fight on the “ShoBox: The New Generation” 20th anniversary card on Friday. Jacobo will be on the undercard of the Showtime televised three-fight main card, which features six boxers with a combined record of 81-1-5.
“It’s exciting fighting for my third time this year,” Jacobo said. “Fighting on the undercard for Showtime is exciting, especially since it hasn’t been in G.I. since about 10 years ago. I’m excited for Friday night.”
Jacobo (10-1) will look to extend his nine-fight win streak when he takes on Gilbert Venegas (17-30-5) of Davenport, Iowa, in a six-round super lightweight contest.
“Gilbert Venegas out of Iowa is a vet of the game,” Jacobo said. “He’s got over 50 fights, and most of his losses have come to undefeated fighters. I’m expecting the best version of him, and I expect him to bring the best out of me as well.”
Jacobo wants to put on his best showing, especially on a ShoBox card where there could be important eyes watching.
“I guess we’ll see,” he said. “There will obviously be some bigger promoters, so we’ve got to go in there and honestly put in one of our best performances to steal the show.”
Jacobo enjoys being active. After Friday, he already has his next bout tentatively scheduled for September in Omaha.
“With the pandemic, I think I fought once in 2020,” he said. “I’ve always stayed in the gym, but now that it’s opening back up, being able to stay in the gym and fighting every couple of months keeps me sharp and mentally focused.”
A pair of second-round knockouts this year shows that schedule is working. Jacobo plans to display that again Friday in front of a hometown crowd.
“I think they’re going to see my ability to box,” he said. “I’ve been boxing my whole life. My last two fights have been second-round knockouts, so whether he takes me into the later rounds, people are going to see that I have the ability to box very well.”
Venegas is only the second opponent Jacobo has faced who has more than eight professional fights. Jacobo wants to keep facing tougher competition.
“I feel like the better the opponent gets, the better that I’m going to get because that’s only going to make me compete more and bring out the best in me each and every fight,” he said. “That’s the way it’s been going, and as the competition gets better, I feel like I get better.”
Jacobo loves returning to Grand Island to fight even though there are some negatives that come with a home-crowd advantage.
“Fighting at home, I feel like most of the pressure is on me,” he said. “I have to stay composed, go out there and do my job, and that’s to come out with a victory.
“But I love fighting in Grand Island. I live in Lincoln now, but I grew up there my whole life, so it’s exciting to fight in front of my friends and family.”