Ryan Garcia to Make Comeback Against Emmanuel Tagoe in Lightweight Fight in April

Ryan Garcia is preparing for his return to the ring…

The 23-year-old Mexican American boxer will meet Emmanuel Tagoe in a lightweight fight on April 9 at the Alamodome in San Antonio on DAZN, according to Oscar De La Hoya, who promotes Garcia.

Ryan Garcia

The bout will be Garcia’s first since January 2021, when he scored a seventh-round TKO of Olympic gold medalist Luke Campbell in a career-best performance.

Garcia (21-0, 18 KOs) was slated to fight Javier Fortuna in July 2021, but he withdrew from the fight to address his mental health. A bout against Joseph Diaz Jr., set for November 2021, was cancelled after Garcia suffered a wrist injury while training that required surgery.

“I went through a hard year. … Everything came tumbling down on me mentally,” Garcia said on ESPN+‘s State of Boxing in December. “It was a hard time in my life. It got really dark … to the point I didn’t know if I wanted to live anymore. I had a lot of thoughts about that throughout the whole year.”

Garcia possesses arguably the quickest hands in boxing and packs plenty of power, too. He’s trained by Eddy Reynoso at Canelo Alvarez‘s San Diego gym, and under Reynoso’s tutelage, Garcia rose to No. 6 in ESPN‘s 135-pound rankings.

Garcia has lobbied for a super fight with Gervonta “Tank” Davis but first must impress against Tagoe coming off a 15-month layoff, the longest of his career.

Tagoe, a 33-year-old fighting out of Accra, Ghana, will be competing in the U.S. for just the second time. He’ll do so against his best opponent by far; Tagoe (32-1, 15 KOs) has fought only a handful of recognizable names. His last bout was in October 2020, a majority-decision win over Mason Menard, who is best known for a first-round KO loss against Teofimo Lopez.

“I’m not going to give up and I’m going to keep being an inspiration for people that are struggling,” said Garcia, who is approaching 9 million followers on Instagram. “I’m right back on track and I’m not going to let anything that all these people are saying outside of the ring, trying to come at my character and who I am as a fighter, I’m not going to let any of that get to me.”

Teofimo Lopez Agrees to Restructured Contract with Top Rank Promotions

Teofimo Lopez has a new contract…

The 23-year-old Honduran American professional boxer and current unified lightweight world champion and Top Rank Promotions are back on good terms after agreeing to a restructured contract, according to ESPN.

Teofimo Lopez

In the new agreement, Lopez will have his minimum purses raised from the previous amount of $1.25 million and will have the opportunity for pay-per-view bouts on ESPN+, a source confirmed.

The deal comes on the heels of an acrimonious negotiation for Lopez’s upcoming title defense against George Kambosos on June 19. Top Rank and Lopez failed to come to an agreement on his salary for that fight, and the bout went to a purse bid. Triller, an upstart streaming service, easily won the rights with a $6 million bid, with Lopez getting around $3.9 million.

Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) is making his first title defense since beating Vasiliy Lomachenko last year to win three of the four major belts in the 135-pound division. Kambosos (19-0, 10 KOs) is the IBF‘s mandatory challenger for its version of the title.

Lopez is also looking for a major opponent on October 2 if he successfully defends his titles, sources confirmed to ESPN. Devin Haney (26-0, 15 KOs), the WBC lightweight champion, has repeatedly expressed his desire to face Lopez. In a Twitter post issued Saturday, Top Rank matchmaker Bruce Trampler said Lopez also wants that fight but that Haney has “contractual issues to resolve.”

Jose Ramirez to Fight Josh Taylor in Junior Welterweight Unification Title Bout

Jose Ramirez is ready to expand his belt collection…

The junior welterweight unification title bout between the 28-year-old Mexican American boxer and Josh Taylor will take place on May 22 at a to be determined Las Vegas venue.

Jose Ramirez

Ramirez, the WBC and WBO champion, and Taylor, the IBF and WBA champion, had initially been planning to fight on May 8, but the fight was moved as to not conflict with the Canelo AlvarezBilly Joe Saunders title fight. Instead, they’ll fight later in the month, headlining a card on ESPN and simulcast on ESPN+.

“This is the best boxing has to offer, two elite fighters in the prime of their careers colliding in a legacy-defining matchup for the undisputed championship of the world,” Top Rank chairman Bob Arum said in a news release. “It’s a true 50-50 fight, one that the fans and both fighters demanded.”

Ramirez (26-0, 17 KO) last fought in August, winning a majority decision over Viktor Postol in his first defense as both the WBC and WBO titleholder. He has held the WBC belt since March 17, 2018, when he beat Amir Imam and the WBO belt since July 27, 2019, when he TKO‘d Maurice Hooker in the sixth round.

Taylor (17-0, 13 KO) won the IBF title in a May 2019 decision over Ivan Baranchyk and the WBA belt in a majority decision win over Regis Prograis in October 2019. Taylor, 30, last fought in September 2020, knocking out Apinun Khongsong in the first round.

Both Taylor and Ramirez fought as lightweights in the 2012 London Games, each losing in the quarterfinals in a division won by Vasiliy Lomachenko. On the same side of the bracket, they would have met up in the semifinals had they kept winning. Now, they’ll fight to unify a professional world title instead.

Terence Crawford was the last fighter the unify the division, a feat he accomplished in 2017. Crawford then vacated the titles with a move up to 147 pounds.