Best Shots: Ryan Garcia makes victorious ring return in 12-round showdown with Emmanuel Tagoe (photos)

'King Ry' decisions 'Gameboy' at Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

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San Antonio was treated to fireworks at the Alamodome today when the undefeated boxing star Ryan Garcia (22-0, 18KOs) of Victorville, CA made a triumphant return to the ring against the top-rated Emmanuel “The Gameboy” Tagoe (32-2, 15KOs) of Accra, Ghana. The 12-round lightweight fight featured a strong performance from Garcia to a crowd of 14,459 as he landed an early power punch that sent Tageo to the canvas in the second round.

Ryan Garcia vs Emmanuel Tagoe
Ryan Garcia vs Emmanuel Tagoe | Tom Hogan/Golden Boy
Ryan Garcia vs Emmanuel Tagoe
Ryan Garcia vs Emmanuel Tagoe | Tom Hogan/Golden Boy

Watch Ryan Garcia vs Emmanuel Tagoe full fight video highlights

Once both fighters found their rhythm, Garcia systematically broke down the Ghanaian boxer as he landed precise punches to the head and body. Tagoe tried his best to keep his distance using an ineffective jab. Garcia visibly hurt Tageo in the 10th round, but the Ghanaian fighter resorted to holding Garcia to prevent further punishment.

Ultimately, the judges ruled in Garcia’s favor with scores of 119-108, 118-109, 119-108 for a victory by unanimous decision.

Ryan Garcia vs Emmanuel Tagoe
Ryan Garcia vs Emmanuel Tagoe | Tom Hogan/Golden Boy
Ryan Garcia vs Emmanuel Tagoe
Ryan Garcia vs Emmanuel Tagoe | Tom Hogan/Golden Boy
Ryan Garcia vs Emmanuel Tagoe
Ryan Garcia vs Emmanuel Tagoe | Tom Hogan/Golden Boy
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“He was making it difficult for me to end it,” said Ryan Garcia. “He was crafty with the holding, and I was trying to get him off me, and he was moving a lot; it was a new experience. I think I have to cut the ring off better with a guy who will keep moving all 12 rounds. I made sure to get him in the body a lot and used my left hook to hurt him.”

“I have a lot of love for San Antonio. It was great that after a year and a half layoff, I was received by such a great crowd. It’s a blessing. I wanted to knock him out, but he was very crafty. At the moment, I could feel like I hurt him, but he really can take a punch.”

Ryan Garcia vs Emmanuel Tagoe
Ryan Garcia vs Emmanuel Tagoe | Tom Hogan/Golden Boy
Ryan Garcia vs Emmanuel Tagoe
Ryan Garcia vs Emmanuel Tagoe | Tom Hogan/Golden Boy
Ryan Garcia vs Emmanuel Tagoe
Ryan Garcia vs Emmanuel Tagoe | Tom Hogan/Golden Boy

“First of all I want to thank my team,” said Emmanuel Tagoe. “I know the reason why I lost. I didn’t throw my right arm. He came forward but I couldn’t get any points from pushing. I think I’m going to go home and sit down with my team. Ryan Garcia is a good boxer.”

Ryan Garcia vs Emmanuel Tagoe
Ryan Garcia vs Emmanuel Tagoe | Tom Hogan/Golden Boy
Ryan Garcia vs Emmanuel Tagoe
Ryan Garcia vs Emmanuel Tagoe | Tom Hogan/Golden Boy
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“I think Ryan did a fantastic job, after a one-and-a-half layoff,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy. “He fought a tough guy from Ghanna with only one defeat, he was slick, he was tough, he was surviving the whole night. Ryan almost had him out but I am glad Ryan went 12-rounds, it was a great experience.”

Ryan Garcia vs Emmanuel Tagoe
Ryan Garcia vs Emmanuel Tagoe | Tom Hogan/Golden Boy
Ryan Garcia vs Emmanuel Tagoe
Ryan Garcia vs Emmanuel Tagoe | Tom Hogan/Golden Boy

“In between rounds I was just telling him you’ve got to track him down,” said Joe Goossen, Trainer to Ryan Garcia. “He’s not going to engage you just have to keep the pressure on. He’s a tough kid. He only has one loss in the beginning of his career. He’s been on a win streak for a very long time. He has a great chin. He was in great shape and he came here to win. He didn’t comer here to lose. But after a while he was not trying to win, he was just trying to survive. Ryan was then trying to track him down and trying to catch him. Tagoe was not being very agreeable and he didn’t engage to fight a lot.”

“Who will we fight next? I take a back seat to all of that. They don’t come to the gym and tell me how to train my guys and I don’t go to their office and tell them how to make fights. When they throw something at me I say that sounds good to me and we go to work.”

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“We’re going to talk to Dibella and see what’s next,” said Peter Khan, Manager to Emmanuel Tagoe. “Emmanuel went 12 rounds with Ryan. Emmanuel was out of the ring longer than Ryan so I think that’s a victory. I think we learned that Emmanuel has a chin, he took some big shots tonight. It was a good fight and Ryan performed really well.”

Ryan Garcia vs Emmanuel Tagoe
Ryan Garcia vs Emmanuel Tagoe | Tom Hogan/Golden Boy

Get Garcia vs Tagoe full fight card results.

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