Former International Boxing Organisation (IBO) lightweight champion, Emmanuel ‘Gameboy’ Tagoe, has expressed his readiness for any test from undefeated Ryan Garcia when they go head to head in a world title eliminator on April 9 in San Antonio, Texas.
Tagoe believes he has been underrated by Ghanaians throughout his career despite being one of the best 135 pounds boxers in the country and is, therefore, out to prove a point.
The Ghanaian has pitched camp at his Florida base in the US ahead of the biggest fight of his career against Garcia who is regarded as one of the best lightweights in the world currently. He returned to the USA on February 15 after spending two months in Accra during which he trained at the Bukom Boxing Arena for the upcoming bout under the guidance of experienced Ghanaian trainer, Lawrence Carl Lokko.
Whilst Garcia aims to use next month’s showdown as a tune-up for nearly 15 months of inactivity, Tagoe sees the clash at the Alamodome in San Antonio as a chance to earn a shot at the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) lightweight title held by stablemate, George Kambosos Jr.
Tagoe told the Daily Graphic from his Florida base that the fight with Garcia remained a career-defining opportunity and was looking forward to the challenge.
“Training is going on well here in the US and I can tell you that I will be ready for any test from Garcia when we get into the ring.
“I think I have been underrated for far too long in my own country because anytime I win a fight, people complain about the opponent which I think isn’t fair,” said Tagoe.
Garcia, a 23-year-old boxer from Victorville in California, last fought in January, 2021 when he come back from a second round knockdown to stop Briton’s Luka Campbell in seven rounds.
The American parted ways with long-time trainer Eddy Reynoso in favour of Joe Goossen last month ahead of the Tagoe clash.
When asked whether the change in trainer could have any effect on the bout, Tagoe said that he was not looking at coaches ahead of the Garcia fight.
The Ghanaian boxer explained inasmuch as he respected Garcia and his achievement in the sport, he was coming into the bout to cause an upset to the boxing world.
“He is a great fighter and I must admit but I am coming into this fight to cause an upset and he must be ready to face me.
“I don’t think changing a trainer will make a difference in this bout but I am focused on what I can achieve in this bout,” Tagoe told the Daily Graphic.