Emmanuel Tagoe is talking about a big game before his big fight against Ryan Garcia on Saturday night at the Alamodome in San Antonio on DAZN.
Tagoe (32-1, 15 KOs), who hails from Accra, Ghana, is traveling across continents looking to shock one of America’s brightest boxers.
Tagoe and Garcia have been on a collision course to fight each other ever since the WBO ordered a bout between the two in July 2020. Garcia (21-0, 18 KOs) has fought once since then – a knockout win against Luke Campbell in January 2021. In between, Garcia has battled mental health issues, right-hand surgery, as well as a change in trainers.
“Game Boy” Tagoe is confident he can press all of the right buttons to beat Garcia.
“I don't think anything because I know Ryan Garcia is easy for me. He's an easy fighter to me,” said Tagoe. “Ryan Garcia can't stand my smoke. That's why I know he's easy for me. “A lot of people talk about Ryan Garcia's power and speed. I don't see this fight as a big fight. I see it as an opportunity for me. That's why I took the fight to showcase myself to anyone who doesn't know me. Now everybody can know me.”
Tagoe comes from a rich boxing bloodline. His uncle is Nana Konadu, a former super flyweight and bantamweight titlist who retired in 2001 with a record of 41 (32 KOs), five losses, and one draw.
Although Tagoe grew up around boxing, he never seriously considered the sport until much later in life. With no amateur fights under his belt, Tagoe turned pro in 2004 and lost his debut against Lante Addy – a fellow fighter also making his pro debut.
The 33-year-old Tagoe hasn't lost since.
“I focused myself to fight and I realized I can beat anyone and I pushed myself to boxing properly … For a long time, nobody wanted to fight me at 135 pounds. I've called out Devin Haney and Vasiliy Lomachenko, and they don't want to fight me,” said Tagoe. “I appreciate that Ryan accepted the fight. I told myself that 'now, Ryan Garcia is a man.' But he's not a man for me.”
Tagoe is fighting for just the third time in the United States. The last time he competed was in November 2020 when he scored a majority decision against Mason Menard.
He’s adamant he’ll surprise everyone with his skills Saturday in what will be a more grand platform.
“It's a big opportunity to use Ryan Garcia to showcase myself. That day, everybody can see, everybody can ask. Ryan why? Ryan why? It's not Ryan's fault he can't smell the smoke,” said Tagoe. “I have a lot of game plans. I know I can beat Ryan Garcia. I am going to prove it.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com.