WATCH: Khalil Coe on sparring UFC champ Alex Pereira, KOing Olympic legend Julio Cesar La Cruz

Khalil Coe weighs in. Photo by Ed Mulholland/Matchroom.

Khalil Coe is looking forward to an eventful 2024 after wrapping up a pivotal 2023 campaign.

The light heavyweight prospect from Jersey City scored three solid knockout victories against respectable opposition while moving to the eight round limit. The 27-year-old known as “The Big Steppa” is expected to return to return to the ring in January. In his last outing, Coe scored an impressive second round knockout of Kenmon Evans in Orlando on a card broadcasted by DAZN. Evans had entered with a record of 10-1-1 (3 KOs), but that didn’t intimidate Coe.

“Our records are just numbers, he came in as a tough guy and we stuck to the game plan. When you do that, anything is possible,” Coe (7-0-1, 5 KOs) told The Ring.

Coe first rose to prominence in 2018 when he scored a shocking first round stoppage of Julio Cesar la Cruz, a two-time Olympic gold medalist from Cuba, at the Chemistry Cup amateur tournament in Germany.

“Ever since that moment happened it’s like we’ve been joined at the hip. Every time someone mentions his name, they mention me. I feel like that was the moment the world actually started to recognize me and see who I was and pay attention to me,” said Coe.

“No one knew who I was. We trained our whole camp for him. We didn’t know it was gonna go like that. We knew we couldn’t leave it to the judges. I listened to my corner. You could hear it in the corner, my coach told me what to do, we executed it and we got the dub.”

While Coe has been making headlines under the bright lights, a recent sparring session with UFC light heavyweight champion Alex Pereira at the Williamsburg Boxing Club in Brooklyn, N.Y. has made the rounds on social media. The edited footage appears to show Pereira outworking Coe along the ropes, though Coe says he has uploaded the full footage to dismiss any impressions that he was being outboxed by a mixed martial arts fighter. Coe admits he didn’t know who Pereira was when they sparred, saying that he doesn’t follow MMA and is only familiar with older names like Chuck Liddell.

“He came in with his whole entourage, we did three rounds, then he did two rounds with a young amateur cruiserweight. If anybody wants to see the real unedited version, it’s on YouTube. I’m just gonna let the video speak for itself, it’s not edited and things like that. I know what happened and he knows what happened,” said Coe.

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