Last night undefeated boxing superstar, Ryan Garcia (22-0, 18KOs) made a triumphant return to the ring against the top-rated Emmanuel “The Gameboy” Tagoe (32-2, 15KOs). The 12-round lightweight fight at the Alamo Dome in San Antonio, featured a strong performance from Garcia to a crowd of 14,459 after a year and half away from the ring due to various physical and mental ailments.
Garcia established himself early landing an early power punch that sent Tagoe to the canvas in the second round. Once both fighters found their rhythm, Garcia systematically broke down the Ghanaian boxer as he landed precise punches to the head and body. Tagoe tried his best to keep his distance using an ineffective jab. Garcia visibly hurt Tagoe in the 10th round, but the Ghanaian fighter resorted to holding Garcia to prevent further punishment. Ultimately, the judges ruled in Garcia’s favor with scores of 119-108, 118-109, 119-108 for a victory by unanimous decision.
“He was making it difficult for me to end it,” said Ryan Garcia. “He was crafty with the holding, and I was trying to get him off me, and he was moving a lot; it was a new experience. I think I have to cut the ring off better with a guy who will keep moving all 12 rounds. I made sure to get him in the body a lot and used my left hook to hurt him. I have a lot of love for San Antonio. It was great that after a year and a half layoff, I was received by such a great crowd. It’s a blessing. I wanted to knock him out, but he was very crafty. At the moment, I could feel like I hurt him, but he really can take a punch.”
“First of all, I want to thank my team,” said Emmanuel Tagoe. “I know the reason why I lost. I didn’t throw my right arm. He came forward but I couldn’t get any points from pushing. I think I’m going to go home and sit down with my team. Ryan Garcia is a good boxer.”
“I think Ryan did a fantastic job, after a one-and-a-half layoff,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy. “He fought a tough guy from Ghana with only one defeat, he was slick, he was tough, he was surviving the whole night. Ryan almost had him out, but I am glad Ryan went 12-rounds, it was a great experience.”
Going the distance helped to shake of some of the ring rust accumulated during Garcia’s layoff and the victory keeps him in contention for bigger more competitive and monetarily lucrative bouts. It is a safe bet that the likes of Gervante “Tank” Davis, Devin Haney and Teofimo Lopez were watching Saturday night and view Garcia as a potential opponent. Until then check out the highlights of Garcia vs. Tagoe here.