Jonnie Rice TKO-5 Michael Coffie
Jonnie Rice was a late substitute here, stepping in against Michael Coffie earlier this week when original opponent Gerald Washington tested positive for COVID. But Rice said before and after the fight that he came in looking to make the most of the opportunity in a way he hadn’t previously in his career, and certainly delivered on that ambition tonight.
Rice (14-6-1, 10 KO) landed very well in the early going, and the damage done gave him an advantage he pressed throughout the night.
Coffie (12-1, 9 KO) came out in the third round loaded up for one shot power. But, he saw no success from it, and did little else. From that point on, Coffee looked fatigued, flat-footed, and slow.
In the fourth, Rice landed a series of power shots that seemed to wake Coffie up a little bit and got him coming forward. But the round ended with Coffie breathing through an open mouth, not initiating or reacting well when forced to counter.
Rice pummeled Coffie whenever the men squared off and traded, and it appeared to compromise the vision in Coffie’s left eye. After Rice landed a series of powerful rights that Coffie didn’t seem to see coming, referee Eric Dali wisely ended it before Coffie could get seriously hurt.
Vito Mielnicki Jr TKO-2 Noah Kidd
This one didn’t carry on for long, but it was fun while it lasted. Credit to Noah Kidd (6-4-2, 5 KO), who came out swarming and trying to win. Unfortunately, that style fed right into Mielnicki (9-1, 6 KO), who put Kidd down in the first round to the delight of the Newark crowd. Mielnicki hurt him badly enough again later that there was serious doubt if Kidd would survive a full round.
Kidd did indeed survive to see round 2, but all he found there was pain and disappointment. After a flagrant groin punch from Mielnicki brought things to a brief pause, Kidd again tried to swarm and pressure Vito. It did not work out well for Kidd, as Vito had him on the ropes, turning away and attempting to take a knee when the referee called the whole thing off.
Joey Spencer UD-8 James Martin
The opener was a battle of the husky boys, as Joey Spencer and James Martin both popped heavy at the weigh-in, and wound up paired against each other to save the card.
Much of the fight was fought at or slightly outside punching distance. Martin (7-3, 0 KO) put in a good effort, dialing up his aggression in the middle rounds, trying to make things happen with occasional switches to a southpaw stance.
Spencer (13-0, 9 KO) spent much of the fight jabbering and gesturing at Martin, but there wasn’t much in the way of fireworks outside of a series of quality exchanges in Round 7.
Spencer didn’t ever look troubled, but he also didn’t exactly deliver a thrilling performance. Spencer put in just enough to claim the rounds, but it did the job for him. The judges called it 80-72 and 79-73 (x2). Bad Left Hook scored it 77-75 for Spencer, but with an asterisk that at least six of the eight rounds were very debatable.