Shocker: Late sub Rice TKOs WBA #9 Coffie

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Photo: Frank Micelotta/FOX

Unheralded late sub Jonathan Rice (14-6-1, 10 KOs) shockingly stopped previously unbeaten WBA #9 heavyweight Michael Coffie (12-1, 9 KOs) in round five on Saturday night at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Coming in on two days’ notice, Rice fought the fight of his life, breaking down Coffie round by round. By round five, Rice was in total control and absolutely teeing off on Coffie, prompting referee Eric Dali to call a stop to the action at the 2:32 mark.

Coffie was originally scheduled to face longtime heavyweight contender Gerald Washington, but Washington tested positive for Covid-19 and Rice came in as Washington’s replacement.

Coffie was a 25:1 betting favorite.

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  • Damn, Coffie was never really in that fight. Couldn’t do much at all when Rice had him at long range. Not much defense or offense from Coffie. Straight right hands all night long just landed flush for Rice. As far as Coffie’s career, it’s awfully hard to start boxing at the age of 30 and go very far. I wish him the best, but he was exposed in a big way tonight. Happy for Rice that he was finally able to get over the hump and get a W against a somewhat big name.

    • Totally agree. Nothing about that fight felt flukey. Rice just lumbered around putting punches together and Coffie had no answer whatsoever. I was shocked by the result… not because I thought Rice was a bum, I just had much bigger expectations for Coffie.

      • Agree that it wasn’t a fluke. I definitely wasn’t expecting a one-sided loss for Coffie, but in hindsight, I guess it’s not all that shocking. Rice is a decent, more experienced guy going against someone who got a REALLY late start in the sport. Wilder is considered a late starter, and he got in the sport at the age of 20. Coffie started at 30. Typical for guys who got a late start in the sport to have some glaring deficiency. Their Footwork, defensive moves, etc may not be as ingrained in them as it would be for someone who’s been doing it for most of their life. Can’t think of any notable boxers off the top of my head who picked up the sport at 25 years or older….

        • Sergio Martinez is the one that I can recall. He was already an athlete, just not a boxer.

  • These late sub’s are sometimes more dangerous than the original opponents. Congrats to Rice…

  • I don’t know what happened but apparently Rice’s right hand was completely invisible to Coffie. He could not see that thing at all! Straight, curved, overhand, slap, whatever. All landed completely clean!

    • I’ve only seen Coffie fight twice….vs. Darmani Rock and tonight against Rice. He seems a far better inside fighter from what I’ve seen. There was a stretch in the 4th round I believe where Coffie was trying to get at close range, but could not. Other than that, he just sat back and was picked apart for the most part. He had no answer whatsoever, and was getting nailed constantly by a guy who isn’t particularly fast. At the age of 35, it’s hard to believe there will be any dramatic improvements. They’ll have to be careful who they match him with.

      • Exactly. He seemed to know that he needed to get inside to have success, but he had absolutely no idea how to get there and stay there. They were talking about Rice getting tired, but I’m sitting here thinking that while he’s on the outside, he’s winning the fight and he’s having the opportunity to rest. It’s like you said though, when you pick up something like boxing at 30, it’s going to be hard for you to go anywhere. Coffie may have already found his ceiling.

  • F*ck!!!

    Congrats to Rice who arrived in shape and ready to fight. Rice did not arrive to the fight by taking matters for granted, and Rice exhibited maximum effort for his well earned victory.

    As for Coffie, f*ck!!! Win, lose or draw is part of being an athlete; but I am disappointed about his LOUSY EFFORT!!!

    In life, work, sports and military service, all I ask for is maximum effort (win, lose or draw); but Coffie deeply disappointed me with his LOUSY BOXING EFFORT!!!

    Nice job, Rice.

    • Two other Heavyweights crossed my mind while watching Coffie tonight, and Seth Mitchell was one of them. The other was Ross Puritty. Puritty was a guy who had a chance when the opponent was at close quarters, but had problems when fighting at distance. I’m guessing that will always be the situation with Coffie against decent opposition. He’s dangerous in close as we saw against Darmani Rock, but was easily controlled from the outside by Rice tonight.

      • Mitchell i can agree, but Puriity was as hard as nails, ask Vladimir Klitscho.

    • Bob, I saw the fight. Keep the racism out of the equation. Spencer won every round. And go to rehab to deal with your racist issues. There is no place for racism on this board. You should be ashamed of yourself for your racist comments. Now, go to your room.

  • All Coffee needed to do was keep his damn hands up. This low left hand style works for counterpunchers and fighters with great skills. A novice like Coffee needs to stick to the basics. March forward with your hands up and throw shots close range

    • That was my initial thought from the first seconds. Coffie’s low heads showed no respect for Rice, but his movement isn’t good to avoid punches with keeping his guard up. Bad strategy by Coffie’s team. I think Rice’s power and accuracy was a total surprise to Coffie.

  • Coffie looked mentally beaten early.

    Rice targeted him at will with his overhand right in the first rounds. Coffie continued to have a low sloppy left hand and no head movememnt. Rice did not have to do much to keep a predictable and stiff Coffie at distance. Rice repeatedly connected the already mentally beaten fighter in the fifth with both hands.

    I see just another fight where the guy with some boxing skills beat the guy from the gym.

  • This is delicious. I always thought Coffie was a punk. Great job, Jonathan Rice.


  • Two ordinary heavyweights, going nowhere. Rice stepped up and imposed his fight on Coffie, did you hear Rice after the ref stopped the fight? He was saying, “I am a God, I am a God” What a clown..

  • Good for Rice. He refused to play the role of “opponent,” flipped the script, and won convincingly. In my view he won every round from Coffie.

  • Rice could be a contender with some serious training and bags of work on footwork and aeorobic endurance and pace changes

  • Vito Mielnicki Jr is a joke. Martin would have knocked him out last night. All that Vito had going for him last night were the 14 year old vape smoking girls in the audience. Vito’s groupies.

    There is nothing special about Noah Kidd. Vito is not going anywhere. Either Joey Spencer or Xander Zayas will give Vito his 2nd loss. Vito is delusional

    Vito is no Joey Spencer. Vito Mielnicki Jr is not good enough to wipe the spit off of Joey’s shoes. And if Joey & Vito ever fight, Joey will give Vito a nice little Veto. As in, knock his punk as out.

  • Yeah, nice win for Rice, whose been matched really tough. He’s fought a lot of undefeated guys and guys with high amateur pedigree. Coffie just lacks the fundamentals. Big strong dude but none of the basics…

    It was a bit much listening to Rice post fight. He was really feeling himself. Nice win, hope he keeps the momentum going, but its not like he knocked out Sonny Liston.

  • This guy was Randy Gordon’s protege for a little bit..Him and Matt happeny smelled something and it wasnt East of Java…Kudos to Joe joyce’s ascent to the Hvwt Title with a KO over Takam..

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