By Vince D’Writer: The co-main event of the Anthony Joshua vs. Jermaine Franklin card featured a rising heavyweight prospect, as the reigning undefeated British heavyweight champion Fabio Wardley stopped Michael Polite Coffie (13-4, 10 KOs) in the fourth round and won the vacant WBA Continental heavyweight title.
Fabio Wardley made his boxing debut back in April 2017 when he scored a decision victory against Jakub Wojcicki. Going into his fight with Coffie, Wardley scored 14 consecutive stoppage victories since his debut.
Michael Polite Coffie started his professional career with twelve consecutive victories. In July 2021, Coffie would suffer his first of what would turn out to be back-to-back losses against Jonnie Rice, and he proceeded to tally a win and a loss in his next two bouts.
Live on DAZN at the 02 Arena in London, England, Fabio Wardley was set to clash with Michael Polite Coffie. In the first round, Wardley came out feinting and jabbing to his opponent’s head and body. Coffie was very economical with his punch output, but he was able to land a left hook that caused Wardley’s nose to bleed.
In the second round, Wardley was pressing forward, establishing his jab, while Coffie was content in staying in a defensive posture and waiting for an opportunity to hit Wardley with a counter shot. That opportunity came at the midway point of the round as Coffie landed another left hook.
After two rounds of action, Wardley was the busier and more aggressive fighter, but Coffie was able to land some accurate countershots. During the third round, Michael Polite Coffie looked solid as he was able to continue having success landing the left hook.
In the fourth round, Wardley immediately got into range to land a big right hand. As Coffie leaned against the ropes, Wardley unloaded a flurry of punches. Coffie was able to roll with some of the punches, but as Wardley continued the offensive attack, the referee stepped in and put a halt to the contest.
It seemed like it was a premature stoppage, but the referee’s decision can be justified due to the fact that while he was pinned against the ropes, Coffie didn’t attempt to return fire. Coffie was upset about the stoppage, but he made a critical error when he had his back on the ropes, and he wasn’t throwing any punches.
Fabio Wardley (16-0, 15 KOs) is taking gradual steps in his career as he continues to build his profile. His fanbase in the UK is steadily growing, and he’s being groomed to be the next heavyweight boxer from the UK to be a world title contender.
By defeating Coffie and winning the WBA Continental belt, Fabio Wardley will move up in the rankings. However, for the immediate future, Wardley’s focus will probably stay on the domestic level as it’s very possible his next fight will be against his rival Frazer Clarke.