San Diego boxer Ryan Garcia training for April 9 fight vs Emmanuel Tagoe

Ryan Garcia in early February announced that he has officially kicked off his training camp for his upcoming fight on April 9th.

It’s now been confirmed that his opponent will be Emmanuel Tagoe.

The April event will mark a return for the 23-year-old Garcia, whose last fight was a win versus Luke Campbell in January 2021. Throughout 2021, Garcia pulled out of several fights.

“Official start to my fight camp!” Garcia wrote on Twitter on Feb. 1. “April the Return will be special.”

Garcia will be fighting for the first time after recovering from right-hand surgery in November. However, Garcia is known for virtually clocking all of his knockouts with his left hook.

Garcia now goes up against Tagoe, who is 32-1.

Earlier in 2022, Golden Boy Promotions head Oscar De La Hoya said he was working on a “huge fight” for Garcia’s return in 2022.

On the same day as Garcia’s training camp announcement, George Kambosos levied fighting words at the boxer, saying that he should be careful not to “injure [himself] shadow boxing.”

Kambosos made an offer to fight Garcia in the spring. However, the Greek-Australian fighter later said that he was only going to consider Devin Haney and Vasily Lomachenko for his next fight.

Tevin Farmer, the former IBF super featherweight champion, has recently mentioned that he was discussing a potential fight with Garcia. However, Farmer eventually stopped talking about the fight, suggesting that the plug may have been pulled.

Other potential future contenders for Garcia include Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz and Joseph ‘Jojo’ Diaz Jr.

During his more than 10-year career, lightweight Garcia has had 21 bouts and is still currently an undefeated fighter. Eighteen of those fights resulted in a knockout.

Garcia is a well-known name when it comes to boxing in San Diego. The city’s scene includes a number of gyms, including The Arena Gym and House of Boxing. Garcia trains at the latter gym with stablemate Canelo Alvarez, with whom he shares a trainer, Eddy Reynoso

Back in January, Garcia rated some of his lightweight rivals in an exclusive interview with WorldBoxingNews. Garcia closely watched all four bouts in his division between November and December 2021.

When it came to the Kambosos-Lopez fight, for example, Garcia called it a “great fight” and added that he was “almost certain Lopez was gonna win.”

“Stars aligned for Kambosos. I don’t know if Kambosos is going to go after another top fighter, but if he does, I personally don’t think he’s going to hold onto the belts,” Garcia said. “Maybe he will. He surprised me once.”

On the other hand, Garcia said he was not surprised that Devin Haney prevailed in his fight with Diaz, Jr. “It was a good fight, but it was what I expected,” he said.

Going forward, Garcia said that a fight between him and Gervonta “Tank” Davis would be a blockbuster bout. A slugfest with Vasiliy Lomachenko, the lightweight said, would be a “huge fight.”

“I would love to fight Lomachenko as well,” Garcia said. “I think he’s a great fighter, and I think he fought masterfully. He looked great.”

With Garcia’s track record of pulling out of fights, fans may need to take his potentially triumphant return in April with a grain of salt.

Earlier in 2022, Garcia recounted how mental health issues affected his ability and willingness to fight. When he pulled out of his scheduled July 9 fight against Javier Fortuna, for example, he wrote on Instagram that he was stepping away to “manage my health and wellbeing.”

“When I got to the gym, I just burst out crying for no reason in front of everybody, and I ran out of the gym,” Garcia said, adding that the incident was the reason he pulled out of the Fortuna fight.

However, Garcia told Boxing News earlier in 2022 that therapy helped him through the roughest patches of his mental health struggles — a period that also included his battling with suicidal thoughts.

“It helped me a lot, and then I kind of just went into this mode where I accepted it,” Garcia told Boxing News. “I stopped fighting against the current and just went with it and let myself recover … it was a pretty good thing for me.”