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Tagoe is a former IBO lightweight champion of the world

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Ryan Garcia vs. Emmanuel Tagoe Set, April 9 At Alamodome In San Antonio

Ryan Garcia is set for his ring return.

The moment will come versus a previously explored opponent, as the unbeaten lightweight contender will face Ghana’s Emmanuel Tagoe. Terms were finalized Friday afternoon for the fight, which will take place atop an April 9 DAZN show from Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

“My birthday gift: the return of Ryan Garcia versus Emmanuel Tagoe,” Oscar De La Hoya, Garcia’s Hall-of-Fame enshrined promoter and head of Golden Boy Promotions confirmed Friday, on his 49th birthday. “April 9, from Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. Let’s go!”

Garcia (21-0, 18KOs) will fight for the first time since his off-the-canvas, seventh-round knockout of England’s Luke Campbell last January 2 at American Airlines Center in Dallas. The 23-year-old heartthrob from Victorville, California withdrew from two subsequently scheduled fights, including surgery to repair a hand and wrist injury ahead of a planned November 27 showdown with former junior lightweight titlist Joseph Diaz.

“Next fight is done,” exclaimed Garcia of his ring return. “Happy I’m fighting in Texas again.”

Tagoe (32-1, 15KOs) hits the jackpot, landing a fight he has desired for nearly two years.

The streaking contender from Ghana—who has won 32 in a row since losing his pro debut nearly 18 years ago—was poised to contend for the mandatory slot in the WBO lightweight rankings as he was prepared to enter talks with Garcia in an ordered eliminator in July 2020. The two sides discussed a potential fight, only for Garcia to go the WBC route which led to his interim title win over Campbell.

Tagoe has fought just once since then, a November 2020 ten-round decision win over Mason Menard at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. The bout is his long ring appearance since the pandemic, also serving as his U.S. after having spent the entirety of his career in his native Ghana though he regularly trains out of the greater Miami area.

The winner of Garcia-Tagoe could be in line for a shot at lineal/WBA/IBF/WBO lightweight king George Kambosos (20-0, 10KOs) later this year. Garcia’s name has been linked to a rumored three-fight series—Garcia and Kambosos each taking one fight apiece before meeting in a head-on collision later this year, though it has yet to evolve beyond loose chatter. Kambosos and Tagoe are both promoted by Hall of Fame-elected Lou DiBella and managed by Peter Kahn.

For now, Garcia concentrates on just returning to the ring. News of the fight with Tagoe comes in the wake of previously rumored opponent, former IBF junior lightweight titlist Tevin Farmer confirming that he was no longer in the mix.

Credit: Boxingscene

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