|Where||Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas|
|When||Saturday, April 9, 9pm ET|
The return of one of the sport’s most marketable fighters headlines a strong weekend on the DAZN schedule.
Ryan Garcia (21-0, 18 KOs) has, in recent years, outstripped his one-time reputation for being merely a product of social media to become a legitimate world title contender at 135lb. A series of highlight-reel knockouts helped build the excitement around the Californian, but it was with an impressive seventh-round stoppage of Olympic gold medalist Luke Campbell that Garcia truly underlined his credentials.
With over a year out of the ring since that win in January 2021, all eyes are on the 23-year-old Garcia this Saturday to see whether the absence has affected his professional development.
His opponent, Emmanuel Tagoe (32-1, 15 KOs) is a name that underwhelmed many fans upon the fight being announced, but should provide a useful yardstick and provide the rounds that Garcia likely requires to shake off any ring rust.
In terms of picking an outright winner, the oddsmakers suggest that Tagoe poses little threat here. The Ghanaian is considered as much as an +1100 underdog, or as having an implied 8% win probability. With a modest 15 stoppages in his 32 wins (47%), Tagoe appears unlikely to have the power to keep Garcia at bay, and - though less of a focus in the promotion of this bout - has actually been out of the ring even longer, with his last contest taking place in November 2020. At 33 - 10 years Garcia’s senior - it’s arguable that this stretch of inactivity could have negatively impacted Tagoe more than the A-side.
Quotes as wide as -2500 and -3300 on Garcia can be found across the industry, but the handful of firms going -1400 and -1600 indicate that ‘King Ry’ has, at worst, a 93% chance of victory.
Given such a prohibitive price on the favorite, bettors will need to look to the props, but those hoping for an attractive option backing the stoppage win will likely be disappointed by the slim -400 (80% implied probability) on offer. Garcia’s 18 KOs from 21 wins (86%) should, however, mean this comes as a surprise to few.
That this fight is being fought at a catchweight four pounds above the lightweight limit points to Garcia rapidly outgrowing the division in which he made his name, but potentially that, after a prolonged period out of action, he is also reluctant to cut the extra weight for what should be a routine non-title outing.
It’s this angle that opens more interesting possibilities here, and siding with the notion that the Los Angeles man would gain little from a one or two-round demolition might bear fruit. The over/under rounds lines are set low - not unexpected given Garcia’s knockout record - but taking the over 4.5 at a reasonable -115 (54%) means backers only need the fight to go over halfway into the fifth for this to land.
Garcia vs Tagoe pick
Over 4.5 rounds (-115)
Ryan Garcia profile
|Birth place||California, USA|
Ryan Garcia is a 23-year-old boxer from California. He is 5′10″ tall and competes in the lightweight division. He is unbeaten as a professional and has knocked out 18 of his 22 opponents.
Ryan Garcia's next fight tops an action packed card in San Antonio. Here are the confirmed fights for the night:
Ryan Garcia vs Emmanuel Tagoe
George Rincon vs Alejandro Frias
Gregory Morales vs Katsuma Akitsugi
Hector Valdez vs Daniel Colula Moncada
You can find a Ryan Garcia fight stream on DAZN. The card will be shown live in 200 countries through the provider. Using DAZN, the Ryan Garcia fight can be streamed on smartphones, laptops, Playstation, Xbox and fire sticks.