Ryan Garcia‘s comeback trail starts against Emmanuel Tagoe on April 9 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, according to promoter Oscar De La Hoya.
The 23-year-old has not fought since defeating Luke Campbell to become WBC interim lightweight champion in January 2021.
A combination of injury and mental health issues have kept him out of action but he has since made a full recovery.
Taking to Twitter, De La Hoya wrote: “My birthday gift: The return of Ryan Garcia vs Emannuel Tagoe April 9, from Alamodome in San Antonio, TX [sic]. Let’s go.”
The 49-year-old also included DAZN and Golden Boy Promotions in his tweet, after the two recently agreed a new deal, with De La Hoya saying “we are delighted to continue to work with DAZN in 2022”.
But it has now been confirmed the American, 23, will first face Tagoe, 33, in a few weeks’ time with the hopes of securing a lucrative showdown with unified champ George Kambosos Jr.
The lightweight rivals have been rowing back and forth on social media in recent weeks.
Garcia sensationally claimed he would knock out Kambosos Jr when the two finally meet in the ring.
He tweeted: “I will KO George Kambosos that’s a promise, say that happens regardless [in] April I will be 22-0.”
But Kambosos hit back and in response taunted Garcia about his struggles with mental health, having also revealed he is a fan of ‘The Flash’.
He replied: “You’re a good kid, Ryan. I like you, but take a ticket, buddy and try not to pull a heartstring again or injure yourself shadow boxing with your eyes closed. You might run into a wall.”
Kambosos also said that Garcia isn’t even in the frame to fight him next.
In reply to a now-deleted tweet, he added: “Sure you do, buddy, sure you do. WAR? You are the kind soldier that would be shivering in their boots, hiding away in a cave until the wars finished.
“Listen as I said, buddy, I like you. You’re a good kid. But take a ticket and get in line. I got real [some] business to handle first.”
Kambosos hasn’t fought since November when he stunned Teofimo Lopez on points at Madison Square Garden in New York to win the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and The Ring lightweight titles.
The Australian is weighing up either Devin Haney or Vasyl Lomachenko as his next opponent.
He continued: “Like I have said countless times, I want the best challenger to give the world the best fights possible.
“Haney, Matchroom boxing, Lomachenko Top Rank boxing, it takes two to tango, so let’s get this done ASAP. The stadium in Australia awaits. And still!”