Heavyweight Jonathan Rice (14-6-1, 10 KOs) scored a technical knockout over previously unbeaten Michael Coffie (12-1, 9 KOs) at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on Saturday, July 31. The pair squared off in the headliner of PBC boxing fight card live on FOX. Referee Eric Dali called a stop to the action at the 2:19 mark of the fifth round.
“Honestly, I didn’t expect to overwhelm Coffie like that,” said Rice. “I knew Michael Coffie from his fights, but not because he had a great record but because he was a sparring partner for Deontay Wilder.”
“In my head, I played the little game that I was Luis Ortiz’s sparring partner for his second fight against Wilder. So technically it was Luis Ortiz’s vs. Deontay Wilder’s sparring partners. We’re going to see what happens. I was playing with that in my head. I had to fight a little bit like Deontay Wilder and then a little bit different. That’s what the game plan was.”
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.
“I wasn’t a late replacement,” added Rice. “I was waiting for an opportunity. We replaced someone, but we weren’t late. We were right on time.”
“I was training every day. I was training with Michael Hunter. I did 20 rounds, 10 and 10 last Friday before I got the call. So when I got the call, I was ready.”
Rice concluded, “I want it all. I want what every boxer wants. I want to be world champion. I understand that my record doesn’t say that, but I want the world to watch my progress.”
“I’m not in the right mind to be calling people out. I’m just going to be ready for the opportunity and when it comes I’m going to answer the call. I’m going to get as much money for it as I can. And you know one thing, I’m going to put on a show.”
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