FEATURE: Is ‘Gameboy’ ready for the world title?

BY: Bernard Neequaye

I want to start by congratulating Emmanuel ‘Gameboy’ Tagoe on his performance against Mason last Friday. Even though I expected more than the performance he put up, I believe there is more room for improvement.

The Ghanaian has been out of the ring for over a year and could be seen struggling with rustiness throughout the bout.

That is why I think the majority decision victory over Menard was enough for a long comeback. At least the future still looks promising for him.

However, Tagoe’s performance in his win over Menard brings to me more questions than answers. Yes, you heard me right!

The lightweight division looks to be the toughest in world boxing now and any boxer looking to dominate must rise to the occasion.

Did we see that kind of hunger in Tagoe’s win over Menard? Certainly not! Everyone can bear with me that his opponent is not regarded a contender at lightweight.

I don’t think Menard can stand toe to toe with any of the champions in the division without been dispatched.

He was knocked out in one round by unified lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez in the Honduran-American’s 11th professional fight.

And I don’t see Menard surviving five rounds against the likes of Vasyl Lomachenko, Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis, Ryan Garcia, George Kambosos Jnr and our very own Richard Commey. That means Tagoe has a lot of work to do to be able to survive a testing division such as lightweight.



World championship

Tagoe is rated in the top five at lightweight by the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) and could soon be picked by the sanctioning body to challenge for the belt.

This means he must be ready at all times in order to take the opportunity whenever it comes.

But the question here is whether he is ready to win it and I think he needs more tune ups before going for the world championship.

Tagoe is a tactical fighter but I don’t think that alone is enough to win a world title in a tough division. One needs to be fit psychologically and physically to be able to challenge in such bigger fights.

What he needs to do now is to stay in the US and continue training and having the best of preparations with other testing bouts.

This, I believe, will put him in the best of shape before opting to go for the biggest fights.

Task ahead

Tagoe is in line to challenge for the WBO belt, which means he could fight the dangerous Teofimo Lopez.

The American holds the WBO title aside the World Boxing Association (WBA) and International Boxing Federation (IBF) titles and could be ordered to face the Ghanaian if he becomes a mandatory challenger.

There could be good news for Tagoe as Lopez wants to defend his titles once and move up to light welterweight.

That could provide Tagoe the chance to fight for a vacant belt but he must still beat opponents such as Ryan Garcia, Vasyl Lomachenko and George Kambosos Jnr to win it.

It is not going to be an easy job but it takes training and conditioning to achieve that and that is what is left before the opportunity comes.

From the look of things, I just don’t think Tagoe is ready to take up such opponents now and I entreat him to prepare adequately before accepting a fight with any of these guys.

That is the surest way to become a champion in this kind of situation. I wish him the very best in this tough task ahead of him.