SAN ANTONIO -- Ryan Garcia is set for his anticipated return.
The unbeaten lightweight contender fights for the first time in 15 months, as he faces Ghana’s Emmanuel Tagoe (32-1, 15KOs) in a scheduled 12-round bout. Both boxers made weight for their DAZN main event, which airs live on Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
Garcia weighed 138.8 pounds for his first fight since his off-the-canvas, seventh-round knockout of England’s Luke Campbell last January in Dallas. Tagoe weighed 138.2 pounds as he aims to extend his current 32-fight win streak.
The contracted weight limit was 139 pounds.
Garcia (21-0, 18KOs) saw his 2021 campaign get off to an explosive start with his knockout of Campbell (20-4, 16KOs), a 2012 Olympic Gold medalist and former title challenger who suffered his lone stoppage loss that night. The interim WBC lightweight title fight also saw Garcia suffer his lone career knockdown, floored hard in round two before rallying to drop and stop Campbell in front of a sold-out but socially distanced crowd at Dallas’ American Airlines Center.
Efforts to schedule two more fights on the year both fell by the wayside. Garcia took a mental health break in scrapping his planned July 9 fight with Javier Fortuna, while a hand and wrist injury requiring surgery forced him to withdraw from a November 27 date with former IBF junior lightweight titlist Joseph Diaz Jr.
Garcia is now back at full health and also armed with a new trainer. The 23-year-old from Victorville, California opened this past training camp with veteran cornerman Joe Goossen, following his exit from Eddy Reynoso’s gym after five wins—all by knockout—under the tutelage of the two-time and reigning Trainer of the Year.
Tagoe has not fought in more than 16 months but enters brimming with confidence. The streaking lightweight contender has not lost since his pro debut, which came in June 2004 when he was just 15 years old.
In his most recent start, Tagoe outpointed Mason Menard over ten rounds in November 2020. The fight took place in Hollywood, Florida, mere minutes from where he trains in Javiel Centeno’s Sweatbox Boxing Gym in Davie, Florida. His stablemates include lineal/WBA/IBF/WBO lightweight king George Kambosos (20-0, 10KOs) and rising Puerto Rican junior middleweight prospect Xander Zayas (13-0, 9KOs), the latter who made the trip to San Antonio to support Tagoe in the biggest fight of his career.
Below are the weights for the rest of the DAZN main telecast, which begins 9:00 p.m. ET/8:00 p.m. local time.
Gabriel Rosado (26-14-1, 15KOs), Los Angeles via Philadelphia, 167.8 pounds vs. Shane Mosley Jr. (17-4, 10KOs), Las Vegas via Pomona, California, 167 pounds—10 rounds, super middleweight
Marlen Esparza (11-1, 1KO), Houston, 111.4 pounds vs. Naoko Fujioka (19-2-1, 7KOs), Tokyo, 111.6 pounds—10 rounds, for Esparza’s WBC flyweight and Fujioka’s WBA flyweight titles
Azat Hovhannisyan (20-3, 16KOs), Los Angeles via Yerevan, Armenia, 124.2 pounds vs. Dagoberto Aguero (15-1, 10KOs), San Cristobal, Dominican Republic, 122.8 pounds—10 rounds, featherweight
Below are the weights for the preliminary undercard, which airs live on Golden Boy's YouTube channel, beginning 4:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. local time.
Patrick Teixeira (31-2, 22KOs), Sao Paulo, Brazil, 162.4 pounds vs. Paul Valenzuela (26-11, 17KOs), Santa Rosalia, Mexico, 168.4 pounds—10 rounds, super middleweight
Gregory Morales (13-0, 8KOs), San Antonio, 125.8 pounds vs. Katsuma Akitsugi (8-0, 1KO), Hollywood, California, 124.8 pounds—8 rounds, featherweight
Tristan Kalkreuth (8-1, 6KOs), Duncanville, Texas, 219.2 pounds vs. Santander Silgado (30-11, 24KOs), Panama City, Panama, 242 pounds—6 rounds, heavyweight
George Rincon (12-0, 7KOs), Dallas, 139.4 pounds vs. Alejandro Frias (13-5-2, 6KOs), Tepic, Mexico, 141 pounds—10 rounds, junior welterweight
Hector Valdez Jr. (14-0, 8KOs), Dallas, 121 pounds vs. Daniel Moncada (15-5-2, 5KOs), Mexico City, 121.8 pounds—8 rounds, junior featherweight
Santos Ortega (6-0, 2KOs), Sacramento, 125.8 pounds vs. Jesus Martinez (30-15-1, 15KOs), Hollywood, Florida, 124.2 pounds—6 rounds, featherweight
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox