An interesting match-up between two young (young-ish in the case of one of the two fighters), unbeaten heavyweights will go down on the under-card of the Caleb Plant-Caleb Truax card on January 30. 24-year-old Darmani Rock, 17-0(12) will face 34-year-old Michael Coffie, 11-0(8) in a ten-rounder.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been waiting to see what happens when Rock (don’t you love his surname!) makes his move. A fine amateur who fought all manner of styles, Rock has had a pretty low-key pro career, with the man from Philly facing so-so opposition. Since going pro in May of 2016, the 6’5” Rock has beaten guys like Raymond Ochieng and, last time out, in October of 2019, Maurenzo Smith. Against Coffie, who also stands 6’5,” Rock will be taking the first risk of his pro career.
Coffie, from The Bronx in New York, managed to remain active in 2020, getting in three fights, all of them stoppage wins. Joey Abell, who Coffie stopped in November, is the most recognizable name on his record. Coffie began his pro career in November of 2017.
Both Rock and Coffie spoke with RingTV.com ahead of the fight:
“I think this is going to be a really good fight, “Coffie said. “We match up with our physical stature, both height and weight. My thought is that Rock is a good fighter. He has never been put in a position where he has had to dig deep. I feel like I always have to dig deep because I never had a huge amateur background. Every fight I have had to will myself. A win will be another step closer to the fight that people want to see.”
“The layoff might have a little impact on me, but I don’t think it will be a big problem,” Rock said. “I just got to do that I got to do. I don’t really know much about him I know he looks strong. The main things I have to do id get the feel back and listen to my corner and my Pop and follow instruction and have fun.”
So who wins – the older guy who has had less fights but has been more active recently, or the younger man who is coming off a layoff of over a year? If Rock doesn’t know too much about Coffie, neither do too many fans. As a result, this one is a tough fight to pick. Rock sees this fight as the start of a busy 2021. But can Coffie mess up his plans?