Tagoe tipped to beat undefeated America’s Garcia for title shot

GHANA’S former International Boxing Organisation (IBO) lightweight champion, Emmanuel Tagoe, has been favoured to work his way back to glory by getting a shot at the title – and knocking it home.

Popularly known as the ‘Game Boy,’ Tagoe (32-1, 15KOs) is billed to slug it out with USA’s unvanquished lightweight contender Ryan Garcia (21-0, 18KOs) on April 9, 2022, at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, USA.

Ghana has been without a world champion since December 2018 when Isaac Dogboe lost his WBO junior featherweight world crown to Mexico’s Emanuel Navarrete Martínez.

However, Communications Director of the Ghana Boxing Association (GBA), Mohammed Amin Lamptey, believes the 33-year-old Tagoe has what it takes to upstage the applecart and get the undefeated Garcia out of his way.

“There’s no shred of doubt about the fact that the Tagoe-Garcia fight is going to be a cracker as both boxers are formidably strong and durable. But I’m very convinced that Tagoe would triumph after a ferocious encounter. For me, it’s time for Tagoe to prove his mettle.

“I watched Tagoe in his last bout and I can attest to the fact that he has improved tremendously. His ring artistry has changed and he now carries a much heftier punch than previously. I believe with determination, hardwork, discipline and the right tactics in the ring, the Game Boy will emerge victorious,” he said.

The GBA Communications Director, nevertheless, described the 23-year-old Garcia as a strong, shrewd and tricky boxer “whose talent in the ring is enormous and cannot be taken for granted at all.”

“I have followed Garcia since his amateur days and I can tell you emphatically that he would be a mouthful for Tagoe who is also capable of turning on the style to win on the night and get a shot at the title,” he added.

Winner of the Garcia-Tagoe fight could be in line for a shot at lineal/WBA/IBF/WBO lightweight king George Kambosos (20-0, 10KOs), later this year.

Tagoe’s last fight was in November 2020 when he defeated American Mason ‘Rock Hard Mighty’ Menard on points in a 10-round lightweight bout at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, USA.

Garcia has also not fought since beating Britain’s Luke Campbell to become WBC interim lightweight champion in January 2021.

Tagoe was stripped of his IBO title in June 2018 after he failed to defend his belt against Fedor Papazov.

The Ghanaian had made a first defence of his title earlier in January after stopping Argentina’s Fernando Saucedo.

BY JOHN VIGAH

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