Emmanuel “Game Boy” Tagoe, the WBA’s twelfth-ranked lightweight, is in the gym as he opens up camp for his August 26th title defense versus Brooklyn, New York’s Argenis Mendez.
The 31-year-old Mendez (24-5-1, 12 KO’s), who originally hails from the Dominican Republic, is the former IBF World super featherweight champion and is coming off a spirited upset decision over Ivan Redkach. He is, on paper, the toughest opponent of Tagoe’s career.
Ghana’s Tagoe (27-1, 13 KO’s) is coming off a twelve-round unanimous decision over veteran Mzonke Fana, where he picked up the minor IBO World lightweight title. He’ll have the hometown crowd behind him as he and Mendez square off in Accra’s Bukom Boxing Arena.
Samuel Anim-Addo, CEO of footballer Asamoah Gyan’s Baby Jet Promotions, told Ghana’s Graphic Sports publication that Tagoe has been training since the beginning of the year and is simply stepping up camp for this bout.
“Game Boy has been training hard these days,” he said. “He is really high spirited and ready to defend his title against Mendez.”
Tagoe will need to be at his best against Mendez. The 30-year-old boxer, known for his enjoyable ring entrances and Mayweather-like boxing style, has had his quality of opposition questioned in recent months. But by agreeing to face Mendez, he silences all critics.
According to Anim-Addo, Tagoe isn’t only gunning for the victory, he’s looking to unify all the titles in a stacked lightweight division that includes WBC champion Mikey Garcia (who is fighting Adrien Broner July 29th at 140lbs), WBA champion Jorge Linares and IBF champion Robert Easter Jr. WBO titlist Terry Flanagan is expected to face Puerto Rico’s Felix Verdejo this September.
It’s a tall task but Tagoe takes a major step toward it against a Mendez who has regained his hunger since back to back losses to Easter Jr. and Luke Campbell. Ghana couldn’t ask for a better matchup.