Jonnie Rice upsets Michael Coffie!
Unbeaten heavyweight and number 9 ranked WBA contender Michael Polite Coffie (12-0, 9KOs) will headline a PBC on Fox card when takes on Jonnie Rice (13-6-1, 9KOs) on July 31 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Coffie turned pro in 2017 at the age of 30. He has been on the fast track looking to secure a world title opportunity in the near future. His last fight was against previously unbeaten heavyweight Darmani Rock (17-1, 12KOs), whom he stopped in three rounds.
Jonnie Rice is currently riding a two-fight losing streak. In his last fight, he lost a unanimous decision to rising heavyweight contender Efe Ajagba in September. He’s also faced 2016 Olympic heavyweight gold medalist Tony Yoka, losing by a unanimous decision. Rice will look to pull off an upset while Coffie will look to continue his rise in the heavyweight rankings.
As an underdog, there’s nothing better than starting a fight off on a good note. For Rice, his opening round against Coffie was probably better than he expected. The 6’5 South Carolina native came out pumping an impressive range-finding left jab that would setup nice right hands. This led to Coffie becoming stagnant. The second round saw Rice show off his combination punching, lighting up his foe with a left hook, right hand combination to the head!
Getting battered and bruised repeatedly, Coffie would really get pummeled in the fifth round! Rice could sense the end was near. He kept bringing the pain by repeatedly landing hard right hand after hard right hand. Coffie, showing heart, continued to stand up to the power. However, the former Marine’s left eye was starting to swell. Following more right hands, a hurt Coffie would be pushed back into the corner where he was a sitting target. Seeing enough, the referee would jump in to the stop the bout.
This was a major win for Rice, who expressed he was tired of losing all of his big step-up fights. For Coffie, this is a major blow as he not only gets his first loss, he’s also likely to fall out of the WBA rankings.
By: Jerrell Fletcher