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.
"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.
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."
“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."