Ryan Garcia is set to make his return to the ring on Saturday night in Texas. The rising lightweight contender is back after over a year away while dealing with injuries and mental-health issues. Now, he has his sights set on a successful return before challenging for titles at 135 pounds.
In his way stands Emmanuel Tagoe, the native of Ghana who previously held one of those coveted lightweight titles from 2016 to 2018. After losing his pro debut, Tagoe has ripped off 32 straight victories while providing stiff challenges for anyone standing across from him.
The action is all set to go down from the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas on Saturday night. The undercard action gets underway at 9 p.m. ET with the main event ring walks expected at approximately 11:15 p.m. ET. The rest of the fight card and viewing information is listed below.
Date: April 9 | Location: Alamodome — San Antonio, Texas
Start time: 9 p.m. ET (main event set for approximately 11:15 p.m. ET)
How to watch/stream: DAZN (subscribe now)
Garcia vs. Tagoe fight card, odds
Ryan Garcia -1600 vs. Emmanuel Tagoe +900, catchweights (139 pounds)
Gabriel Rosado -300 vs. Shane Mosley Jr. +240, super middleweights
Marlen Esparza (c) -260 vs. Naoko Fujioka (c) +210, women’s flyweight unification
But even though he was scheduled to fight Javier Fortuna in July 2021, Garcia pulled out of the bout, because he said it was “important to manage my health and wellbeing.” Last November, Alvarez criticized Garcia for his supposed lack of discipline, saying, “He’s wasting a lot of time and wasting his talent. I look at him and don’t see him 100% dedicated and, to us, that’s a bad signal.”
Not long after, Garcia left Reynoso, who also trains Alvarez, and began working with famed coach Joe Goossen. Now, Garcia, who complained that Reynoso was largely absent when he was training, is satisfied with his coach. More than satisfied even.
“I knew Joe Goossen was going to be a perfect fit for me,” Garcia said. “He’s old school, and I love that part of the game. He’s someone I can relate to; we have good chemistry.”
Said Goossen: “I knew he had something special. We got along and there was something about him that appealed to me personality wise and fighting wise. He’s really attacking this like he’s obsessed and possessed. I’m genuinely impressed.”
Ryan Garcia vs. Emmanuel Tagoe records
Under Reynoso, Garcia had really begun to impress, surviving an early knockdown vs. Campbell before storming back to stop him in the seventh. He also blasted out Francisco Fonseca in the first round. For Garcia, who is 21-0 with 18 KOs, those are his two best victories. But Garcia is on a five-fight knockout streak, and it’ll be interesting to see how Tagoe, who lost by TKO in his pro debut in 2004, will hold up to Garcia’s power.
Though Tagoe (32-1, 15 KOs) is relatively unknown, he is coming off a victory vs. Mason Menard, at one time considered a decent enough prospect. Yet, Tagoe hasn’t fought in 17 months (and just once in the last 31 months), and it’ll be interesting to see if he has any ring rust. “[Garcia] is fighting a guy who has nothing to lose,“ said Garcia’s promoter Oscar De La Hoya. “I think Ryan needs to come out and make a point but do it smart and careful.”