Jonnie Rice on Coffie Rematch Win: This Changes My Life, I Can Quit My Job

Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida – In a 10-round rematch, Jonnie Rice (15-6-1, 10 KOs) earned a unanimous decision over Michael Coffie (12-2, 9 KOs), following up on his upset victory in their first fight, when he stepped in as a late replacement to stop Coffie in July 2021. (photo by Ryan Hafey)

“The key to victory was my mom,” said Rice. “My mom texted me and called me and told me tonight was going to be a test of my endurance. You have to always trust your mom.”

Coffie looked to reverse the outcome from their first fight by coming out in a southpaw stance, and was able to deter Rice from coming forward early, but did not end up opening up his own offense at the same time. The offense from both men was slow to develop early, with each man landing 16 punches through the first three rounds.

Rice began to take control of the fight in round four, connecting with a straight right hand during an exchange that seemed to stagger Rice. That stagger was all Rice needed to begin opening up his offense, pouring on power punches against Coffie. After another similar onslaught in round six, Coffie began to start bleeding from his left eye that was quickly closing.

The eye made it tough for Coffie to avoid the oncoming attack, while Rice was careful not to leave himself open for a counter from the powerful Coffie. In the second half of the fight, Rice was able to build his lead with a 69 to 25 edge in punches landed in rounds six through ten.

“No excuses from me, he was the better fighter tonight,” said Coffie. “I couldn’t see out of my left eye for the last third of the fight. It is what it is. It happens.”

After 10 rounds, all three judges saw the fight in favor of Rice, with tallies of 97-93 twice and 99-91.

“This changes my life, I can quit my job,” said Rice. “I’m watching everybody in the heavyweight division. I’m watching everybody and I’m ready for any of them.”

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Photos: Jonnie Rice Bloodies, Busts Up Michael Coffie in Rematch Win

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida – In a heavyweight rematch, Jonnie Rice (15-6-1, 10 KOs) proved that his last fight was no fluke, as he outboxed and decisioned Michael Coffie (12-2, 9 KOs) for a ten round unanimous decision. (photos by Ryan Hafey)

The scores were 97-93, 97-93, 99-91.

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Back in July, Rice pulled off a big upset when he stopped Coffie in five rounds. 

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In the second bout, Coffie came out jabbing in the first round. Rice was staying patient and looking for openings. It was still slow in the second, with both being tactical.  The action was starting to get off in the third, with Coffie starting to let his hands go more often. 

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During the fourth, Rice rocked Coffie bad with a counter and then went after him with big punches. Coffie weathered the storm and began to trade punches with Rice. In the fifth, Coffie was taking the fight to Rice and began to target the body. Both boxers looked tired as the round played out.

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In the sixth, Rice began to put his punches together and was landing numerous shots on Coffie in the corner. Coffie’s left eye was now cut. During the seventh, Rice had the advantage with Coffie’s left eye swelling bad by this point. Rice continued to outwork a very tired Coffie in the eighth and ninth. Coffie was trying to rally in the tenth, with Rice being defensive and picking his spots until the final bell.

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Jonnie Rice Repeats: Outworks, Decisions Michael Coffie in Rematch

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida – In a heavyweight rematch, Jonnie Rice (15-6-1, 10 KOs) proved that his last fight was no fluke, as he outboxed and decisioned Michael Coffie (12-2, 9 KOs) for a ten round unanimous decision.

The scores were 97-93, 97-93, 99-91.

Back in July, Rice pulled off a big upset when he stopped Coffie in five rounds. 

In the second bout, Coffie came out jabbing in the first round. Rice was staying patient and looking for openings. It was still slow in the second, with both being tactical.  The action was starting to get off in the third, with Coffie starting to let his hands go more often. 

During the fourth, Rice rocked Coffie bad with a counter and then went after him with big punches. Coffie weathered the storm and began to trade punches with Rice. In the fifth, Coffie was taking the fight to Rice and began to target the body. Both boxers looked tired as the round played out.

In the sixth, Rice began to put his punches together and was landing numerous shots on Coffie in the corner. Coffie’s left eye was now cut. During the seventh, Rice had the advantage with Coffie’s left eye swelling bad by this point. Rice continued to outwork a very tired Coffie in the eight and ninth. Coffie was trying to rally in the tenth, with Rice being defensive and picking his spots until the final bell.

MORE DETAILS TO COME………….

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Coffie: Rice Is The Original Opponent This Time, We Prepared Specifically For Him

Michael Coffie insists he will get it right the second time around. (photo by Ryan Hafey)

The heavyweight hopeful is presented with a chance to avenge his lone career defeat, which came in a shockingly one-sided, fifth-round stoppage to Jonnie Rice just five months ago. Rice (14-6-1, 10KOs) was a late replacement for Gerald Washington (Covid) and entered the July 31 Fox-televised main event as a 10-1 underdog. Coffie was seemingly caught off guard from the opening bell and never in the fight as he was dealt his first loss as a pro.

The two collide once again, coming this Saturday as part of a five-fight heavyweight Pay-Per-View event distributed by Fox Sports and Fite TV. This time around, Coffie insists he is ready for Rice—the only fighter he has had to focus on for the past several months.

“He’s the original opponent and it stayed that way from the beginning,” Coffie noted during the final pre-fight press conference Thursday afternoon. “We prepared specifically for him.

“I felt a lot more healthy than I did for the previous fight. There were some nagging, lingering injuries heading into that fight. This time around, we’re a lot more healthy now and ready to go.”

Coffie (12-1, 9KOs) quickly became a favorite on the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) circuit since his televised debut on FS1 last August. The eight-year U.S. Marine and former top amateur was riding a four-fight knockout streak heading into his first televised headliner, only for Rice to bring his career progress to a crashing halt.

Saturday night is all about get-back, though it’s strictly business.

“This is not no real beef or anything like that,” noted Coffie, who enjoyed playful but competitive banter on stage with Rice. “It’s part of the game. We’re gonna play the game on Saturday. May the best man win—me.”

The rematch between Rice and Coffie takes place at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. Headlining the show, top contender Luis Ortiz (32-2, 27KOs; 2NC) faces fellow southpaw and former IBF heavyweight titlist Charles Martin (28-2-1, 25KOs) in a scheduled twelve-round title eliminator.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

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Photos: Rice-Coffie, Washington-Demirezen, Faust-Kiladze – Fights Set

Top heavyweight Luis “King Kong” Ortiz and former world champion Charles Martin went face-to-face at the official weigh-in Friday before they meet in an IBF Heavyweight Title Eliminator headlining a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View this Saturday, January 1 from Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. (photos by Ryan Hafey)

The weigh-in also featured rising heavyweight star Frank “The Cuban Flash” Sanchez and Christian Hammer, who duel in the 10-round co-main event.

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Rounding out the heavyweight extravaganza and facing off at Friday’s event were heavyweight contenders Jonnie Rice and Michael Coffie, who meet in a 10-round rematch, former title challenger Gerald “El Gallo Negro” Washington and Turkish Olympian Ali Eren Demirezen, who battle in a 10-round fight, and unbeaten Viktor Faust and Iago Kiladze, who square off in the 10-round pay-per-view opener at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. 

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Jonnie Rice: A Lot Of People Thought Win Over Coffie Was A Fluke; Here To Show It Wasn’t

Jonnie Rice knows he can no longer bank on the element of surprise heading into his rematch with Michael Coffie.

That doesn’t make him any less confident of repeating what happened in their first fight just five months ago.

“There is a lot of pressure to show that it was for real,” Rice confessed during the final pre-fight press conference ahead of the rematch with Coffie, which is part of a five-fight New Year’s Day Pay-Per-View distributed by Fox Sports and Fite TV. “A lot of people thought it was a fluke. I’m here to show that it wasn’t.

“We’re just here to it times two, sounds good. Y’all paying me more, so I’mma do it even faster.”

Rice (14-6-1, 10KOs) earned one of the biggest upset wins of 2021, scoring a fifth-round stoppage of the previously unbeaten Coffie in a surprisingly one-sided affair this past July 31 on Fox from Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. The 34-year-old Rice—originally from Columbia, South Carolina but who now lives and trains in Los Angeles—was a late substitute for former heavyweight title challenger Gerald Washington, who was a late scratch after testing positive for Covid.

Washington is also part of Saturday’s show, facing Hamburg’s Ali Eren Demirezen (14-1, 11KOs).

Coffie (12-1, 9KOs) was expected to blow through Rice and continue his rise as a heavyweight prospect. That never came close to happening, as Rice—a +1000 underdog heading into the fight—dominated the fight from the opening bell en route to forcing a stoppage in by far the biggest win of his career to date.

There is a sense that Coffie was already looking ahead, perhaps at a rescheduled fight with Washington or whatever challenges waited in the wings. None of that matters, as Rice expects to have his rival’s undivided attention this time around.

“I don’t feel like he underestimated me. His attention and focus was on Gerald Washington,” acknowledged Rice. “He fought well that first fight but I don’t think he underestimated me at all.

“I can’t lie, though. I’m more overconfident more so than ever. Honestly, he needs to bring me a level down. My head’s just gonna keep getting bigger and bigger. Somebody’s gonna have to do something about that. He might have to do me a favor and bring me on back down. I’m ready to take on the whole world.”

The rematch between Rice and Coffie is part of a five-heavyweight fight PPV from Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. Headlining the show, top contender Luis Ortiz (32-2, 27KOs; 2NC) faces fellow southpaw and former IBF heavyweight titlist Charles Martin (28-2-1, 25KOs) in a scheduled twelve-round title eliminator.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

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Photos: Sanchez-Hammer, Rice-Coffie, Washington-Demirezen, Faust-Kiladze – Face-Offs

Top heavyweight Luis “King Kong” Ortiz and former world champion Charles Martin went face-to-face at the final press conference Thursday before they meet in an IBF Heavyweight Title Eliminator headlining a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View this Saturday, January 1 from Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. (photos by Ryan Hafey)

The press conference also featured rising heavyweight star Frank “The Cuban Flash” Sanchez and Christian Hammer, who duel in the 10-round co-main event.

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Rounding out the heavyweight extravaganza and facing off at Thursday’s event were heavyweight contenders Jonnie Rice and Michael Coffie, who meet in a 10-round rematch, former title challenger Gerald “El Gallo Negro” Washington and Turkish Olympian Ali Eren Demirezen, who battle in a 10-round fight, and unbeaten Viktor Faust and Iago Kiladze, who square off in the 10-round pay-per-view opener at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. 

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