Rising American lightweight contender and social media star “King Ry” Ryan Garcia will finally make his return to the squared circle on April 9, when he matches up against Ghana’s Emmanuel Tagoe at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. The bout will be streamed live on DAZN and will be fought at a catchweight of 139 lbs.
Garcia (21-0, 18 KO) last stepped in the ring in January 2021, earning a stoppage win over former world title challenger Luke Campbell. Boxing fans found out quite a bit about Garcia that night, as he was dropped hard in the second round. However, the young phenom was able to persevere, stopping Campbell with a left hook to the body in the seventh round.
Unfortunately, Garcia was unable to follow up on the momentum he built to start off 2021, as he was sidelined for the rest of the year. Originally, Garcia was supposed to take on Javier Fortuna in July of that year. But he eventually pulled out of the fight, citing struggles with mental health. Later that Fall, Garcia was then scheduled to meet Joseph Diaz Jr. for the WBC interim lightweight title, but he had to pull out of that matchup as well, this time with a hand injury.
Enter Ghanaian lightweight contender Emmanuel Tagoe (32-1, 15 KO), who is now the third scheduled opponent for Garcia since the beginning of his 15 month layoff. “The Gameboy'' has gone unbeaten since his only loss in his professional career back in 2004. In his most recent and notable fight, Tagoe outpointed Mason Menard, winning a majority decision on the cards.
“King Ry '' will be looking to earn his sixth stoppage win in a row against a tough Ghanaian fighter in Tagoe, who hasn’t been knocked out in almost 18 years, and comes from a rich and hardened boxing culture in Accra. Other memorable boxing figures such as Azumah Nelson, Ike Quartey and Joshua Clottey, have all come from Accra, Ghana.
Assuming he plans to go back to lightweight if victorious against Tagoe, Garcia would be ever so close to earning his first world title opportunity. Assuming George Kambosos and Devin Haney don’t fight to a draw or a no contest, Garcia may actually have a chance to challenge for the undisputed lightweight championship in his first title bout, which is rare in this day in age.
On the other hand, Tagoe really has nothing to lose going into this matchup, as he is not well known and is the heavy underdog. Even if he’s not victorious, he just has to put up a good fight, which would surely be enough to get him more notable fights in the future.
Fighter’s Form (last 5 fights):
Luke Campbell - WIN by TKO 7 - 01/02/2021
Francisco Fonseco - WIN by KO 1 - 14/02/2020
Romero Duno - WIN by KO 1 - 02/11/2019
Jose Lopez - WIN by TKO/RTD 2 - 30/03/2019
Braulio Rodriguez - WIN by KO 5 - 12/15/2018
Mason Menard - WIN by MD (98-92, 97-93, 95-95) - 27/11/2020
Ishmael Aryeetey - WIN by TKO 6 - 20/07/2019
Vyacheslav Gusev - WIN by UD (120-107, 119-108, 118-109) - 23/02/2019
Moses Paulus - WIN by UD (120-109, 120-109, 120-110) - 20/10/2018
Fernando David Saucedo - WIN by TKO 10 - 27/01/2018
Date: April 9th, 2022
Time: 2 am (UK), 6pm (PT), 9pm (ET)
Venue: The Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas, USA
Elsewhere on the card
In the co-main event, WBC women’s flyweight titleholder and former U.S. Olympian Marlen Esparza (11-1, 1 KO) will meet WBA titleholder Naoko Fujioka (19-2-1, 17 KO) in a 10-round unification bout. Also featured is well-known former title challenger Gabriel Rosado (26-14-1, 15 KO) taking on Shane Mosely Jr. (17-4, 10 KO) in a 10-round super middleweight contest.