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Ryan Garcia dominates Emmanuel Tagoe to win by unanimous decision

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Ryan Garcia and Emannuel Tagoe face a crowd and hold up their fists.
Ryan Garcia, left, and Emannuel Tagoe face a crowd gathered at their weigh-in in San Antonio on Friday.
(Courtesy of Tom Hogan / Golden Boy Media)

Ryan Garcia, in his first fight since going on hiatus to improve his mental health, defeats challenger Emmanuel Tagoe by unanimous decision.

Ryan Garcia (22-0, 18 KOs) won in his return to boxing on Saturday night, defeating Emmanuel Tagoe (32-2, 15 KOs) by unanimous decision in San Antonio. Garcia dominated the fight, but didn’t get the knockout he had predicted.

Here’s a recap of the fight.

Ryan Garcia cruises to unanimous decision win against Emmanuel Tagoe

The scorecards are in. Judges Tom Carusone and Ellis Johnson both score the bout 119 to 108, while Lisa Giampa has it a tad closer at 118-109, all in favor of Garcia.

Garcia goes the 12-round distance for the first time in his pro career and improves to 22 wins with no losses.

Garcia lands 165 out of 569 punches, compared to 90 out of 391 punches from Tagoe.

Garcia ends his 15-month hiatus in dominating fashion, but there is still plenty to improve on with new coach Joe Goossen.

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Round 12: Ryan Garcia set to win by decision after going the distance

Round 12: In the spirit of the opening week of the baseball season, Ryan Garcia takes the mound in San Antonio and pitches a complete game shutout against Emmanuel Tagoe.

Although he didn’t hit the big home run, Garcia’s offense was still on point. He didn’t get the knockout that he predicted, but the announced decision and win should be a formality.

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Round 11: Ryan Garcia enters unfamiliar territory vs. Emmanuel Tagoe

Round 11: Here’s something that has never happened in Ryan Garcia’s young career — this is the first time he’s ever reached the eleventh round.

It’s unfamiliar territory for the fighter who’s scored five consecutive KOs dating back to 2018. It’s much of the same script however in the frame. Rinse. Repeat. 11-0, with a knockdown in the second round to boot.

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Round 10: Ryan Garcia nearly knocks down Emmanuel Tagoe again

Round 10: Emmanuel Tagoe immediately gets into survival mode when Ryan Garcia touches him up with a right hand that might as well have been delivered from Dallas.

The shot to the jaw buckles the knees and legs of Tagoe, who holds at the waist with both hands to save himself from a second knockdown. He is officially in survival mode.

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Round 9: Ryan Garcia allowing Emmanuel Tagoe to stay in fight

Round 9: Ryan Garcia continues to press forward and targets the body of Emmanuel Tagoe. His pressure is relentless, and at some point you have to assume that Tagoe will break.

Garcia, however, is not putting enough punches in bunches together. Too often he’s lunging in with one punch at a time and letting Tagoe survive. A pot shot will not put Tagoe away at this point. String them together? Maybe.

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Round 8: Can Ryan Garcia end this fight with a knockout?

Round 8: It’s beginning to reach a point where Ryan Garcia needs to start thinking about punctuating his performance with something special.

Coming off a KO win against Olympics gold medalist Luke Campbell, a decision win just isn’t going to cut it with his long list of skeptics. He surely wants to seek something bigger and please the crowd.

Ring rust is not an issue whatsoever at this point, and Garcia needs to do what he knows best — create a viral moment. He has 12 minutes to do so.

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Round 7: Emmanuel Tagoe catches Ryan Garcia off-guard

Round 7: Ryan Garcia has landed 73 punches to Emmanuel Tagoe’s 25 through six rounds.

Tagoe connects with a looping left hook at the one-minute mark of the seventh round. It doesn’t land flush, but it gets the attention of Garcia, who immediately gets more aggressive and throws combinations to compensate for the minor mishap.

Garcia ends the round remarkably by landing a left hook of his own. If Tagoe has any chance to win this fight, he must open up now and start firing away.

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Round 6: Ryan Garcia continues to stay in control

Round 6: It’s as if Emmanuel Tagoe left his offensive playbook back in Ghana. This is mostly one-way traffic and a glorified sparring match for Ryan Garcia.

Tagoe is basically fighting by backpedaling. Tagoe briefly finds a flash of a moment and touches up Garcia, who smiles. It’s arguably the best moment of the fight for Tagoe, but he still lost the round.

Garcia should be up 6-0 midway through the bout.

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Round 5: Ryan Garcia becoming more methodical against Emmanuel Tagoe

Round 5: Ryan Garcia’s blazingly fast hands are on full display. He is picking and choosing his spots as he pleases, much to the pleasure of the partisan crowd who has paid to see him.

As the fight reaches its midway point, Garcia is becoming more patient, standing and delivering body shots. Garcia ends the round patiently waiting to time Emmanuel Tagoe with his patented left hook.

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Round 4: Ryan Garcia on the attack against Emmanuel Tagoe

Round 4: It doesn’t appear Emmanuel Tagoe has the skills required to kick the fight into second gear, or even dig deep for a plan B.

Ryan Garcia is relentlessly chasing Tagoe around the ring bringing the fight straight to him with his stalking attack. Garcia is confidant and wants to intimidate the older and more experienced fighter. It’s working like a charm.

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Round 3: Ryan Garcia dominating against Emmanuel Tagoe

Round 3: Ryan Garcia looks really relaxed in the ring. It’s almost as if he hasn’t had an extended break. He is having a field day now and not even showing any respect his opponent.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that Emmanuel Tagoe is outmatched. Garcia has outlanded Tagoe 33 to 4 in power punches.

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Round 2: Ryan Garcia knocks down Emmanuel Tagoe with a series of rights

Round 2: Ryan Garcia stuns Emmanuel Tagoe and scores a knockdown with a series of right hands that connect. Garcia is displaying blinding speed much to the dismay of Tagoe, who does not agree with the ruling.

A 10-8 round to Garcia, who is cruising through the first two frames.

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Round 1: Ryan Garcia opens strong against Emmanuel Tagoe

Round 1: Both fighters start the round off feeling out each other’s strengths. It’s clear that Garcia has the speed and size and is comfortable pressing the action. Garcia looks really good considering it’s been 15 months since he’s been in a ring. Should be a great fight!

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Shane Mosley Jr. scores most impressive win of career over Gabriel Rosado

Veteran contenders Gabriel Rosado and Shane Mosley Jr. headed into their bout looking to bounce back from losses.

It was the son of a boxing legend who enjoyed the taste of victory once again, as Mosley (17-4, 10 KOs) put on a clinic to score the most impressive win of his eight-year career over Rosado (26-14-1, 15 KOs).

The official ruling was a majority decision, as judge Tom Carusone scored it 98-92 and Ruben Carrion had it 97-93 for Mosley, while Angel Mendez Ramos turned in a mind-boggling card of 95-95.

Ultimately, the right man won in the 10-round super middleweight matchup that served as the co-main event for the card headlined by Ryan Garcia and Emmanuel Tagoe at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

Mosley landed 172 out of 600 punches compared to 124 of 517 from Rosado. Mosley outlanded Rosado 140 to 74 on power shots.

Mosley, 31, walked into the ring with the lifelong tutelage of father and Hall of Fame fighter “Sugar” Shane Mosley and put on a performance his father would surely be proud of.

The Pomona native mostly dictated the pace by leaning on his length, which featured nearly a six-inch reach advantage and two-inch height advantage, as well as his increased boxing acumen.

It didn’t start smoothly because Rosado and Mosley did not initially lean on their years-long experience to deliver a palatable bout, as boos rained down from restless fans after an uneventful first three rounds. Perhaps observers were spoiled by the non-stop aggression and action displayed by the fights that preceded them.

By the fourth round, fans started a boisterous version of the wave. Apparently, the disrespectful gesture ignited a response from both fighters.

First, Rosado hurt Mosley with a masterfully timed right hand on the chin. Immediately after, Mosley followed up with a right uppercut that buckled Rosado’s legs.

Mosley continued to go after the backpedaling Rosado to close the round.

The 36-year-old Rosado had the Hollywood-based Hall of Fame coach Freddie Roach in his corner. In the middle of the fifth round, Roach was unhappy and said Rosado was fighting at a terrible pace during a mid-fight interview. Trying to save face, Rosado raced with more aggression and pressed forward.

Mosley maneuvered in the sixth to land a left hook to the head followed by a left hook to the solar plexus to take the air out of Rosado.

Rosado resorted to being a one-dimensional fighter in the seventh, looking to land a knockout with one big swing at a time.

Mosley was unbothered and continued his workman-like approach with a long left jab throughout the eighth round.

In the tenth, Mosley unleashed a sneaky left jab that perturbed Rosado, who flailed his arms. In the final seconds of the fight, Mosley hurled a right cross and left hook that busted Rosado’s eye to draw blood and put an exclamation mark on his performance.

Both Rosado and Mosley had uneven years in 2021. Rosado pulled off one of the upsets of the year when he busted up-and-coming prospect Bektemir Melikuziev with a knockout of the year contender in June only to lose to Jaime Munguia in a lopsided unanimous decision in November.

Mosley, meanwhile, dropped a majority decision to Jason Quigley in May after he had scored a stoppage win before that.

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Marlen Esparza decisions Naoko Fujioka to win WBC, WBA and Ring Magazine flyweight titles

The women’s flyweight division has a new unified champion, and her name is Marlen Esparza.

Esparza (12-1, 1 KOs) scored a unanimous decision win against Naoko Fujioka (19-3-1, 7 KOs) to win the WBC, WBA and Ring Magazine flyweight titles in a close and competitive fight with plenty of ebb-and-flows that unfortunately was not reflected on the scorecards.

Judges Wilfredo Esperon and Jesse Reyes both scored the fight 100-90, while judge Lisa Giampa turned in a more realistic scorecard of 97-93. DAZN commentator Chris Mannix scored the bout 96-94 for Esparza.

Esparza, who hails from Houston, had a homecoming fight of sorts in front of the partisan crowd at the Alamodome in a fight she arguably won, albeit, not as comfortably as the judges disrespectfully dictated.

The 46-year-old Japanese fighter Fujioka did show any signs of intimidation as an away opponent nor that she was 14 years older than Esparza from the opening bell.

Both fighters exchanged flags of their respective countries before the bout as a sign of respect, and immediately exchanged a barrage of punches thereafter.

According to CompuBox, Esparza had a 120 to 107 edge in total punches landed, while Fujioka had a 98 to 94 edge in power punches landed. Esparza threw 436 punches throughout the ten-round bout compared to 418 by Fujioka.

Fujioka preferred to exclusively fight inside, while the 2012 United States Olympics bronze medal winner Esparza displayed her strong amateur boxing pedigree by using long-range to leverage a jab and counter shots whenever Fujioka encroached. Esparza’s punches were clearly landing cleaner, but both fighters had their moments during the all-action affair.

In the first round, Fujioka connected with a fierce overhand right, and Esparza immediately responded with one of her own. Esparza landed a strong left hook to the side of Fujioka’s temple in the second.

In the fourth round, Esparza connected with a counter overhand right and dropped Fujioka, who hesitantly stumbled head-first only to catch herself with her fists, but referee Rafael Ramos missed ruling it a knockdown.

Fujioka picked up the pace and hurled a volume of punches on the inside in the fifth and sixth rounds but Esparza maintained her control of the fight by firing crisp counter shots off her back foot.

Fujioka scored the best punch of the fight in round eight with a thudding right hand that stopped Esparza in her tracks and momentarily stunned her. Before the punch, Esparza landed an admirable two-punch combination.

A clash of heads momentarily stopped the action in the ninth, with Fujioka getting the worst of it, but she opted not to take any time to recover from the incident. Fujioka walked back into her corner after the round appearing to think the fight was over.

But there were still two minutes still left to go in the fight,

With the match hanging in the balance, both boxers got off their stools and started throwing haymakers to begin the tenth. Esparza backed up Fujioka along the ropes with a right hand. They traded punches, and Esparza ripped another right hand right before the final bell rang to close the show.

Fujioka hinted at retirement before the fight should she have lost, but after her performance, she clearly could still compete at a high level.

Heading into the fight, Esparza held the WBC title, Fujioka owned the WBA crown, and the Ring Magazine title was vacant.

Esparza has now won five fights in a row since losing to Los Angeles native and undefeated standout minimumweight champion Seniesa Estrada in 2019.

Estrada was part of the DAZN broadcast team calling the action, and the two have been linked to a rematch ever since their initial meeting.

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Los Angeles-based Armenian Azat Hovhannisyan scores two knockdowns, gets TKO against Dagoberto Aguero

Dagoberto Aguero failed to get into the ring without laying on the canvas, tripping and falling while trying to jump over the top rope during his flashy ring entrance.

The Dominican’s fight didn’t fare any better.

Los Angeles-based Armenian Azat Hovhannisyan (21-3, 17 KOs) quickly battered and bludgeoned Aguero (15-2, 10 KOs) in their featherweight fight, scoring two knockdowns in the second round to score a technical knockout victory.

Nicknamed “Crazy A,” the former world title challenger lived up to his moniker with an aggressive and relentless offensive attack for as long as the bout lasted, stalking and swinging his way to a thrilling stoppage victory.

After an up-tempo first round in which Hovhannisyan was controlling the ring with a sharp overhand right hand, both fighters started the second guns blazing and duking it out toe to toe.

Hovhannisyan proved he was the strongest of the pair, connecting with a counter left hook to drop the defenseless Aguero 14 seconds into the round. Hovhannisyan continued the assault with a series of left and right hooks to drop Aguero a second time 40 seconds into the round.

Aguero got up once again only to eat more punches, as referee Jon Schorle stopped the bout at the 1:11 mark of the round with the defenseless Aguero reeling on his feet.

Hovhannisyan landed 54 punches in the barnburner, while Aguero countered with 19 landed punches of his own.

Hovhannisyan – ranked in the top eight across all four major sanctioning bodies — has now won seven consecutive fights since losing his only world title shot against Rey Vargas in 2018.

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Fighting words from Ryan Garcia and Emmanuel Tagoe

Ryan Garcia and Emmanuel Tagoe clashed on Wednesday during their media workout in San Antonio, Texas.

Here is what both fighters have had to say so far during the build-up of their bout:

Ryan Garcia

“Boxing is part of me. I have been doing this since I was 7 years old and I am good at it. I know that I still have a lot left to give to the sport. I feel pretty safe in the ring. I am not taking a beating. Even in sparring, I don’t feel like I am getting hit with a lot of shots. And fortunately, I am healthy enough to continue to fight at a high level and give fans some amazing fights. I feel great and I am going to make every day count.

“I miss everything about boxing: the competition, the contact, destroying someone. Seeing the shot; knowing where it is going to land; knowing that the timing is just perfect. I just love to fight and just be better than the person in front of me.

“Tagoe is a veteran, he is going to try his best to keep me off of him, to survive. His goal, I think, is to not get knocked out. I know he has been saying that facing me will be easy. But I can say one thing, my job is to not make his life easy in that ring. Fans should be ready to see me give this fight everything I got. If he can take a shot, it will be a good fight. If he can’t, he will be out of there very quick.

“This is going to be an exciting fight from me. You can expect timing and explosion. I don’t look to toss someone around for a couple of rounds. If I land a good one, you can expect that I am going to be looking to take someone out.”

“Now I’m at the point where I’m going to do amazing when I get into the ring. I’ve done all the promotion I can. I’m going to be the best I can be. You have to trust that gut feeling which most guys don’t.

“I knew Joe Goossen was going to be a perfect fit for me. He’s old school and I love that part of the game. He’s someone I can relate to, we have good chemistry.

“I’m always stalking my opponent, that’s my fighting style. Making sure I’m countering. Whenever an opportunity presents itself.

“I got knocked [down] for the first time in my life and I took it well. I reacted the way I imagined I would.

“I’m pretty good at fighting smaller guys. [Tagoe] is a little shorter and he likes to box.

“Fighters always try to pressure me. We’ll see since I don’t know too much about this guy. I’ll just stay calm and surgically break him down or knock him out. I have pretty good timing and accuracy. I think that has really separated myself from other fighters.

“My power has been coming out more effortlessly. I’m also not getting as tired. Everything’s coming together.”

“I’m very excited, it’s been a long time. Tagoe is a legitimate contender, I have nothing but respect for him. He has a big opportunity here, he’s been looking for a tough fight, a fight that will make or break him; and I am looking forward to a dog fight if it happens to be one.

“I am definitely not looking past him, whether people think he is a good contender or not, and I respect him and I know this will be a good fight.

“I have been boxing my whole life. I know what it takes. I know the discipline you need, the sacrifices you have to make. What makes me feel confident is all the experience I have in the ring; over 200 amateur fights, 21 professional, been in some top training camps. I feel very comfortable and confident. I know whomever is in front of me, it will not be easy, that’s for sure. If it’s a quick or a long fight, I am ready for whatever.”

Emmanuel Tagoe

“I think I have the tools to knockout Ryan on Saturday. This fight is an opportunity for me to showcase myself.

“I came here to knock out Ryan Garcia. I think he’s good but he’s not my size. I can’t wait for Saturday. I’m going to show everyone.

“Training camp was good and I’m happy with this fight. Everyone is going to like this fight. I come to win with a knockout or no knockout. I waited for this opportunity. To all of Garcia’s fans watch out for Saturday.”

“I know Ryan Garcia, I respect him a lot as a good boxer but he is not my style.”

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Betting odds Ryan Garcia vs. Emmanuel Tagoe 

Ryan Garcia is listed as a -1600 betting favorite, while Emmanuel Tagoe is a +850 betting underdog, according to the lines listed by DraftKings.

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Tale of the tape for Ryan Garcia vs. Emmanuel Tagoe 

Ryan Garcia poses in front of media during his weigh-in Friday in Los Angeles.
(Courtesy of Tom Hogan / Golden Boy Productions)

RYAN GARCIA

Age: 23

Nickname: King Ry

Hometown: Victorville, California

Record: 21-0, 18 KOs

Total rounds fought: 27

Height: 5-foot-10

Reach: 70 inches

Weight: 138.8

Stance: Orthodox

Advisor: Lupe Valencia

Promoter: Golden Boy

Trainer: Joe Goossen

Emmanuel Tagoe poses for a crowd during his weigh in Friday in San Antonio, Texas.
Emmanuel Tagoe poses for a crowd during his weigh in Friday in San Antonio, Texas.
(Courtesy of Tom Hogan / Golden Boy Productions)

EMMANUEL TAGOE

Age: 33

Nickname: Game Boy

Hometown: Accra, Ghana

Record: 32-1, 15 KOs

Total rounds fought: 245

Height: 5-foot-8

Weight: 138.2

Stance: Orthodox

Manager: Peter Kahn

Promoter: DiBella Entertainment

Trainer: Javiel Centeno

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L.A. Times experts make their picks for Ryan Garcia vs. Emmanuel Tagoe 

Who will win the Ryan Garcia versus Emmanuel Tagoe bout? Los Angeles Times experts make their picks.

“The start of Manny Pacquiao’s ascent to superstardom was the result of a mistake. Golden Boy Promotions had signed Marco Antonio Barrera to a promotional contract. In Barrera’s maiden fight under its banner, the company signed off on Pacquiao as the opponent. Obviously, someone hadn’t watched the video of Pacquiao closely enough. Fifteen years have passed since then. The Oscar De La Hoya-led promotional company has evolved. It’s no longer a company that will make that kind of mistake again, which is my way of saying there’s a reason Emmanuel Tagoe was chosen as the opponent for Ryan Garcia in his comeback fight. Tagoe’s listed height is three inches shorter than Garcia’s. Tagoe’s backers say the Ghanain throws punches from unorthodox angles; in reality, he throws looping punches that are easy to see. With only 15 knockouts in 33 fights, Tagoe isn’t much of a puncher. Did you really think Golden Boy would have Garcia take on someone who could hit after he was dropped in his last fight by Luke Campbell? The point of this fight is to get Garcia back on track after his mental-health hiatus, and this fight will do that. The hard-hitting Garcia should stop Tagoe in the first half of the fight.”

— Dylan Hernandez, Times sports columnist

“It will be Ryan Garcia’s first fight under new trainer Joe Goossen, and his first since the thrilling victory against Luke Campbell last year. I expect to see some of Garcia’s ring rust but also improvements in his arsenal. Tagoe is a well-rounded fighter but doesn’t compare to Garcia’s hand speed, power and devastating left hook. Garcia also has the edge in height and reach. On the other hand, Tagoe hasn’t fought since November 2020, so he will also show his inactivity. Tagoe is a pretty good defensive fighter, with great head movement and fast hands, but not as fast as Garcia’s. Since he has a disadvantage in reach against Garcia, Tagoe will need to get closer, and will get exposed to Garcia’s destructive hooks. Garcia by unanimous decision.”

— Eduard Cauich, Times en Español sports editor

“A lot has happened since the last time “King Ry” stepped into the ring. From separating from Team Canelo to wrist surgery to mental health challenges, Ryan Garcia has endured it all and is looking to prove he’s ready for the big stage once again. The challenge will be presented via Emmanuel Tagoe, who’s fought mostly in Ghana. Garcia is 10 years younger with proven punching power, but make no mistake, Tagoe could spoil his opponent’s plans since he has proven to have artillery of his own. This might be the biggest fight of Tagoe’s career, but it will be Garcia who prevails with a KO in the seventh round.”

— Jad El Reda, Times en Español sports editor

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Gabriel Rosado vs. Shane Mosley Jr. highlights Garcia-Tagoe undercard action 

Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions will feature several bouts to support the main event featuring Ryan Garcia vs. Emmanuel Tagoe.

In the co-main event, Freddie Roach-trained veteran contender Gabriel Rosado (26-14-1, 15 KOs) takes on Shane Mosley Jr. (17-4, 10 KOs), a Pomona product and the son of Hall of Fame fighter “Sugar” Shane Mosley, in a super middleweight matchup.

Preceding the fight, Marlen Esparza (11-1, 1 KOs) will face Naoko Fujioka (19-2-1, 17 KOs) in a 10-round fight for the WBC, WBA and Ring Magazine flyweight titles.

Opening the DAZN livestream, Los Angeles-based Armenian and former world title challenger Azat Hovhannisyan (20-3, 16 KOs) will face Dagoberto Aguero (15-1, 10 KOs) in a 10-round featherweight fight.

Former world champion Patrick Teixeira (31-2, 22 KOs) as well as up-and-coming prospects like Gregory Morales (13-0, 8 KOs), Katsuma Akitsugi (8-0, 1 KOs), Tristan Kalkreuth (8-1, 6 KOs), George Rincon (12-0, 7 KOs), Hector Valdes Jr. (14-0, 8 KOs) and Santos Ortega (6-0, 2 KOs) will also be featured on a separate preliminary card that begins at 1:30 p.m. PDT.

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Who is Emmanuel Tagoe? 

Emmanuel Tagoe point toward the crowd during his weigh-in.
Emmanuel Tagoe point toward the crowd during his weigh-in.
(Courtesy of Tom Hogan / Golden Boy Productions)

Emmanuel Tagoe (32-1, 15 KOs) is a rugged Ghanian contender who has not lost since making his professional debut in 2004.

The 33-year-old hails from Accra, the capital city that has given birth to champions like Azumah Nelson and Ike Quartey. Tagoe claims his uncle is Nana Konadu, a former super flyweight and bantamweight titlist from Sunyani, Ghana, who retired in 2001 with a record of 41-5-1.

This will be the third time Tagoe is fighting in the United States. He is coming off a November 2020 majority decision win against Mason Menard.

Tagoe and Garcia have been on a collision course to fight one another dating back to 2020 when the World Boxing Organization ordered a bout between the two boxers.

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Hernández: After sharing his battle with panic attacks, Ryan Garcia’s next big test is in the ring

Ryan Garcia reacts after defeating Luke Campbell in a WBC title fight on Jan. 2, 2021
Ryan Garcia reacts after defeating Luke Campbell in a WBC title fight Jan. 2, 2021, at American Airlines Center in Dallas.
(Tim Warner / Getty Images)

These are different times in boxing, one of the sport’s most celebrated prospects talking about his mental health problems.

Could you imagine Joe Frazier opening up about something like that?

Roberto Duran no-mas-ed more than 40 years ago and still hasn’t provided a convincing explanation for why he quit against Ray Leonard.

“Bottle it up, that’s how we did it, right?” Oscar De La Hoya said with a chuckle.

More than a decade removed from his days as a fighter, De La Hoya now promotes the up-and-coming boxer in question, Ryan Garcia of Victorville, who returns on Saturday night against Emmanuel Tagoe.

Garcia is 23, an age at which he should be fighting as often as possible. But the part-time model and social media influencer has already taken a 15-month sabbatical from the sport, withdrawing from one match last year to deal with what he described as crippling anxiety and another to recover from a hand injury.

“It was a hard year to endure with all the people talking their mess and having opinions on me and whatnot,” Garcia said. “But I think it’s going to be worth it one day.”

The question isn’t whether Garcia made the right call to sit out a year. He did. Step into a ring compromised and a fighter can quickly become an assault victim.

The question is what the meltdown says about Garcia’s future in the sport, whether the popular fighter has the makeup to be the De La Hoya of his time. The uncertainty has added an element of intrigue to an otherwise unremarkable fight against the wild-punching Tagoe.

“We don’t know how Ryan’s going to react,” De La Hoya said. “We don’t know, his head, where it’s going to be at.”

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Catching up with Ryan Garcia: A timeline of events since his last fight 

Plenty of life-and-career altering developments have popped up for can’t-miss prospect Ryan Garcia ever since the lightweight star bounced back from a knockdown to knock out Olympic gold medalist Luke Campbell on Jan. 2, 2021.

The 23-year-old Oscar De La Hoya understudy announced last April that he was battling severe mental health issues. The setback forced him to pull out of a fight with Javier Fortuna, which was set to headline a July card at the Banc of California.

Garcia took a months-long break from boxing, and once he bounced back and was feeling better and getting closer to signing a deal to fight Joseph Diaz Jr., he suffered a right-hand injury that required surgery in October.

In the midst of it all, Garcia stablemate and confidant Canelo Álvarez openly questioned Garcia’s dedication and commitment to the sport.

The power pairing both trained together in San Diego with touted coach Eddy Reynoso, but Garcia has since separated from the camp and decided to strike out on his own, claiming that Reynoso was not 100% committed to training him.

Garcia trained with Reynoso for nearly 3 ½ years and tallied a record of 5-0, with all five wins coming via knockout.

Garcia has since united with equally respected coach Joe Goossen since February to train mere minutes away from Alvarez and company in San Diego.

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How to watch Ryan Garcia vs. Emmanuel Tagoe

The 139-pound catchweight bout between Ryan Garcia and Emmanuel Tagoe will headline a Golden Boy Promotions card on streaming service DAZN.

The main card begins at 6 p.m. PDT and a preliminary card began at 1 p.m. PDT.

A subscription to the DAZN app costs $19.99 a month or $99.99 per year.

The event will also be distributed to cable companies via PPV.com, iNDEMAND’s new streaming pay-per-view platform, for $34.99. Consumers who order the fight via PPV.com will also get one free month of DAZN and the opportunity to engage in the platform’s live chats, interact with boxing experts and other fans, as well as post comments and video selfies.

The event will take place at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

If you feel like watching the fight at a theater, Fathom Events will be showcasing the card at three different theater locations in Los Angeles as well as different venues across the nation.

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