Emmanuel “Game Boy” Tagoe toyed with Namibia’s Paulus Moses for 12 rounds to win a unanimous decision and the WBO Africa lightweight title.
Scorecards read 120-110, 120-109, 120-109. BoxingAfrica.com scored it a shutout at 120-108.
This one was never in doubt. Tagoe did his part to make it a good fight. His opponent however, looked every bit of his 40 years. Moses barely threw, opting to stand in front of Tagoe as if were posing for a photo.
The lack of inaction led to some restlessness from fans at Accra’s Bukom Boxing Arena. Many of them came in support of Tagoe, proudly holding the Ghanaian flag. They might as well have wrapped themselves in it and taken a nap.
Early on, it looked as if we may see a stoppage. Tagoe came out pumping his rangefinder, stepping in behind it with combinations. At one point, he raised his arms and motioned to the crowd to make some noise.
Moses applied more pressure in the second. He was largely ineffective, struggling to get past Tagoe’s snapping jab. Toward the end of the frame, “Game Boy” began unloading combinations—particularly to the body—that landed cleanly.
The pattern continued throughout. Tagoe was simply too quick. A left hook at the end of the third seemed to stun Moses. With the fight slipping away, he never stepped on the gas. Another right in the fourth stopped Moses in his tracks. When the Namibian managed to get inside, he held on as if Tagoe was a long-lost chum.
Moses picked it up in the sixth, working more in close quarters. Still, Tagoe was in control. After the Ghanaian dominated the seventh, Moses went to work in the eighth. Two rights got Tagoe’s attention. But each time he was tagged, he responded in kind. Nevertheless, if one was looking for a round to give Moses, this was it.
He reverted to inactivity in the ninth, barely throwing a punch. Tagoe, on the other hand, was content to control the fight from the outside and cruise to a victory. There was little action over the final three rounds. Despite being well behind on the cards, Moses never picked up the pace, seemingly content to make it to the finish line.
It seems Father Time has caught up to the great Namibian. The former WBA world lightweight champion gave a valiant effort versus Ray Beltran last February. It may have taken everything out of him.
Tagoe picks up the finest win on his career. It’s a solid victory on the continental stage, but the ostentatious Ghanaian still has a way to go before he can compete with the elite. Tagoe will disagree with that line of thinking, but there’s only one way to prove the skeptics wrong. Tonight was a step in the right direction.
On the undercard, lightweights Sherriff Quaye and Michael Ansah engaged in the best fight of the night. In the end, Quaye held on to win a split decision over 12-rounds. Final cards read 115-113 for Ansah, while the other two awarded Quaye the victory by scores of 115-111 and 115-114.
Could notes on the production: UTV did well to pick up this fight for the international audience. However, the lack of replays was disturbing. Fortunately, the main event didn’t feature too many moments that required one.
The cameramen for UTV committed a cardinal sin, panning to people in the audience…while the round was taking place. Luckily, a knockout punch nor a highlight occurred during those moments but imagine if it did?
In all, a good night of action for the maiden edition of Asamoah Gyan Fight Night. Looking forward to the next one.