Ryan Garcia defeats Tagoe by unanimous decision

Ryan Garcia went the full 12-round distance for the first time in his career, dropping Emmanuel Tagoe in the second round on the way to scoring a unanimous decision victory on Saturday in San Antonio.

The 23-year-old rising star remained unbeaten via scores of 119-108, 119-108, and 118-109.

Garcia (22-0, 18 KOs), who was fighting for the first time since his seventh-round knockout of now-retired Luke Campbell 15 months ago, knocked down Tagoe in round two with a right hand but was unable to secure the knockout as the Ghanaian proved to have a massive heart.

The Victorville, California-based lightweight shook off the ring rust and knocked Tagoe around with right hands to the body and left hooks to the head as Tagoe retreated to the ropes. Like Joshua Clottey against Manny Pacquiao in their welterweight title unification in March 2010, the 33-year-old Tagoe (32-2, 15 KOs), who lost for the first time since his pro debut in 2004, hardly engaged.

"I hit him with some shots, he was crafty with the holding," said Garcia. "He was moving a lot, I have to be better at cutting off the ring. I had to trap him down, it was a new experience trying to cut the ring off with a guy who's looking to survive.

"I caught him with a super good right hand and he was really hurt but I couldn't find the next shot."

The 139-pound catchweight bout was Garcia's first points victory since his 10-round majority decision triumph over Carlos Morales in September 2018. The win was also his first since parting ways with Eddy Reynoso after three years and re-joining forces with Hall of Fame coach Joe Goossen.

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