Ghana’s Emmanuel Tagoe is nurturing the ambition of becoming a world champion again, four months after he was stripped of the International Boxing Organisation (IBO) lightweight title for refusing to defend it within the stipulated time.
Moments after defeating Namibia’s Paulus Moses to claim the vacant WBO Africa lightweight title in the early hours of yesterday at the Bukom Boxing Arena, Tagoe declared himself ready to rule the world and then threw a challenge to title holders to start emerging from their hideouts to face him.
Judges John Kennedy, Shadrack Acquaye (both 120-109) and May Mensah Akakpo (120-110) handed Tagoe a unanimous points verdict after he had dominated the 12-rounder on the BabyJet Promotions bill.
Despite the one-sided fight and the unanimous verdict, Tagoe was hardly convincing about his readiness to take on the world. He failed to show the spark and ringcraft that once made him a delight to watch, and also did not pack power in his punches to stop the 40-year-old veteran Namibian pugilist who provided little opposition.
In response, Tagoe blamed a broken finger for preventing him from knocking out Paulus because he fought through the pain barrier.
“But I do not intend to use my finger as an excuse because as a boxer you don’t have to give excuses, so I decided to fight with the pain and the most important thing now is the victory,” the Ghanaian said after the fight.
Both boxers gave the fans very little to cheer about throughout the entire 12 rounds except for some occasional body shots from Tagoe which excited the home crowd and drew applause and cheers.
Tagoe had the opportunity to knockout Paulus in the first round for holding but he rather used the opportunity to size up his opponent and landed some feeble shots at the face of the Namibian.
One of Tagoe’s brilliant moments came in the fifth round when in an attempt to duck a punch, Paulus exposed his face and allowed Tagoe to follow up with a series of punches that dazed the strong hearted Paulus who refused to go down without a fight.
The response came in equal measure in the sixth and eighth rounds where the Namibian came through with quick left hooks to the ribs of the Ghanaian who survived on the ropes, only for Paulus to be teased out of his corner in the 10th round to be subjected to severe punishment.
As usual, Tagoe would not end the bout without his comical antics to excite the crowd and also to distract his opponent.
In the under cards bouts, John Laryea knocked out Emmanuel Anyetei in the fourth round to win the National bantamweight contest, while Ishmael Ayittey lasted only the third round s against Ofei Dodoo in the super featherweight contest.
Veteran Malik Jabir, who relaunched his career after many years of inactivity, gave the fans a lot to cheer about in a super featherweight contest against Michael Pappoe but did not do enough to convince the judges who handed the verdict to the younger Pappoe.
Raphael King recorded a seventh round knockout victory against Abdul Aziz Quartey in their welterweight contest, while Sharif Quaye defeated Michael Ansah in a lightweight encounter.