Ghana’s Emmanuel Tagoe won the vacant World Boxing Organisation (WBO) Global and International Boxing Federation (IBF) international lightweight titles in the early hours of yesterday after defeating Russian Vyacheslav Gusev via a unanimous points decision at the Bukom Boxing Arena in Accra.
The three judges scored the fight 122-107, 118-109 and 119-108 in favour of the Ghanaian whose fight record now stands at 30 wins with one loss and no draw.
Tagoe, popularly referred to as Gameboy in boxing circles, described himself as the greatest lightweight fighter of his generation and vowed to win a world title again under his new American promoters, LouDiBella Entertainment, moments after being decorated with the titles.
Tagoe controlled the bout from start to finish and punched his opponent at will in the latter stages of the fight, with the Russian providing no credible challenge.
Fierce exchanges highlighted the second to the fifth rounds as both boxers connected body shots that did not appear to have caused any visible damage.
Gusev was forced to kiss the canvas in the fourth round after being caught by a swinging right hook from the Ghanaian which unsettled him, but the Russian quickly rose to his feet and charged on his opponent.
However, the Bukom lad took control of affairs from the sixth round using crisp jabs to build points and keep his opponent at bay.
Gusev came into the picture briefly in the seventh round as he attempted to take the fight to the Ghanaian but Tagoe walked through the punches and appeared unhurt.
Tagoe further hurt his opponent with strong body shots to the ribs in the eighth and ninth rounds as Gusev began to retreat with the Ghanaian going on the offensive.
The Russian regained his strength in the ninth round and occasionally put his opponent on the back foot as he reeled on the ropes to get out of trouble and avoid falling to the canvas.
Tagoe worked his way out of trouble in the 10th and 11th rounds with effective combination of hooks and jabs as Gusev began to bleed from his left eye.
In the under cards undefeated Samir Bastie stopped Beninois Raoul Lossokou in the second round of their eight-round catchweight duel.
Musa Rahman handed Isaac Tetteh a technical knockout in their super welterweight encounter before Mubarak Abubakar defeated Boateng Agyemang in their six-round middleweight bout.
Idris Amadu beat Mawuli Folivi via a split points decision in their eight-round super middleweight contest, while Ezekiel Annan and Sheriff Mohammed fought to a draw in their super bantamweight contest.