SAN ANTONIO – Wednesday afternoon turned out to be the perfect day to stir up some boxing drama.
DAZN and Golden Boy Promotions held an open workout at the Will Naylor Smith Riverwalk Plaza, just outside the Tobin Center. Fans gathered to see fighters workout in the outdoor ring under a bright blue and windy Texas sky.
While the day seemed pretty standard for a media workout, things turned up a notch as Ryan Garcia entered the ring to faceoff in front of the cameras with his opponent Emmanuel Tagoe. After a few minutes of taking pictures, the two fighters began to exchange words and had to be separated.
INSIDE THE RING: @RyanGarcia is ready for Saturday! Check out some of the sights & sounds from Wednesday's media workout. Thursday is the final press conference, 12:30pm - Alamodome - open to the public!— KSAT 12 Sports (@InstantReplaySA) April 7, 2022
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“It wouldn’t have mattered had it happened or not but I’m happy it did,” said Garcia. “I got to size him up a little bit, trying to see what he would feel like in the ring. I feel like I have a clear advantage on him even more now. Just by feeling his presence I know I can work around anything he does.”
Garcia (21-0, 18 KOs) will face Tagoe (32-1, 15 KOs) on Saturday in the Alamodome in a 12-round lightweight contest. Their fight will be the main event live on DAZN.
“He’s always been a hard worker and they almost got at it a little bit, a little show and tell, it doesn’t hurt nothing, it was fun‚” added legendary trainer Freddie Roach. “I love fighting in Texas, it’s a great place. One thing about Texas, no one kisses your ---, everyone gets treated the same, I can’t wait, it’s going to be a great night.”
Roach was in San Antonio for his fighter Gabriel Rosado (26-14-1, 15 KOs) who is on Saturday’s undercard. Rosado will face Shane Mosley Jr. (17-4, 10 KOs) in a 10-round super middleweight bout.
”Mosley has trained in my gym, his dad trained in my gym and me and his dad are quite good friends,” said Roach. “He’s a good fighter but I do think my guy is too big and too strong for him. I think they picked the wrong guy but we’ll see.”
RETURN TO SAN ANTONIO
Back in early March, “King Ry” Garcia told KSAT 12 Sports how much he loved fighting in Texas and how excited he was to be back in the Lone Star State. He also said he once got lost on the Riverwalk when he was in the Alamo City fighting as an amateur.
“I did get lost and I found by way back,” Garcia said. “It brings back good memories. The last time I was here I fought Virgil Ortiz so it’s a cool little memory lane. I’m happy to be here, I love Texas, I just love the whole state. For some reason, I just feel there’s no haters here, just fans that want the person to win. I feel that coming from the people of Texas.”
The 23-year-old Garcia has fought only twice since November 2019. He got one more fight in prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, he defeated Luke Campbell in January of last year, winning by TKO. Garcia stepped away from two different fights after that knockout win to take care of his mental health, and more recently, go under the knife to repair his damaged right wrist he injured during a sparring session.
Garcia was asked if he’s ready to continue his professional career after taking time to take care of himself, recover from injury and work with a new trainer.
“I better be, we about to be in it Saturday,” explained Garcia. “I’m as happy as I can be, I’m as good as I can be. There’s no looking back. I’m a warrior, once I get in the ring I’m at peace. I need things moving fast, that’s where I thrive in chaotic situations.”
The 33-year-old challenger from Ghana is hoping to spoil Garcia’s return to the ring. This will be Tagoe’s second fight in the United States and he hasn’t lost since he dropped his professional debut in his home country in 2004.
“I’m very excited and happy with this fight,” said Tagoe. “Now I get to showcase myself to everyone. I think I have a lot of things to bring to the table to beat Ryan Garcia. He can’t do anything to me. Now I teach Ryan Garcia this Saturday.”
Tickets are still available at the Alamodome Box Office and have sold well leading up to Saturday night.
There will be a final press conference between the fighters Thursday at 12:30 p.m. at the Alamodome and it will be open to the public. The same goes for the weigh-in on Friday at 12:30 p.m. at the dome. Both events can be seen live on YouTube.
It's #GarciaTagoe fight week! Here is a look ahead at our scheduled events, all streaming live on our YouTube Channel.— Golden Boy (@GoldenBoyBoxing) April 4, 2022
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Daniel P. Villanueva has worked with KSAT 12 for over 18 years and is an award-winning producer. To submit story ideas, email email@example.com