NEWARK, N.J. – Rising unbeaten heavyweight Michael Coffie will face Jonathan Rice in the main event of FOX PBC Fight Night and on FOX Deportes, this Saturday, July 31 from Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Coffie was originally scheduled to face former title challenger Gerald Washington, who was forced to withdraw after a positive COVID-19 test.
The FOX broadcast begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and will also see James Martin battle welterweight prospect and New Jersey-native Vito Mielnicki Jr. in an eight-round rematch in the co-main event and unbeaten prospect Joey Spencer take on Dan Karpency in an eight-round showdown.
At 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT following the FOX broadcast will be FS1 PBC Fight Night topped by veteran contender and Olympic bronze medalist Andre Dirrell competing for the second time at light heavyweight as he faces Philadelphia’s Christopher Brooker in a 10-round fight. The FS1 telecast also features unbeaten featherweight prospect Maliek Montgomery dueling Ángel Contreras in a 10-round attraction and top welterweight prospect Paul Kroll squaring off against Justin DeLoach in a 10-round showdown.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased through Ticketmaster.com.
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The non-televised undercard will feature unbeaten Patterson, New Jersey-native Norman Neely (8-0, 7 KOs) in a six-round heavyweight attraction against Texas’ Juan Torres (6-3-1, 3 KOs), Philadelphia-born super lightweight contender Karl Dargan (19-1, 9 KOs) battling Los Angeles-native Ivan Delgado (13-3-2, 6 KOs) in an eight-round attraction, Maryland’s Keeshawn Williams (7-0-1, 2 KOs) taking on Missouri’s Noah Kidd (6-3-2, 5 KOs in a six-round welterweight tilt and Newark’s own Michael Anderson (20-3-1, 14 KOs) in a six-round welterweight bout facing Tennessee’s DeMarcus Rogers (14-3-1, 5 KOs).
Rounding out the night of action is Denville, New Jersey’s Nicky Vitone looking to remain unbeaten in a four-round welterweight fight against Jordan Rosario, unbeaten Philadelphia-born prospect Quadir Albright taking on Jared Tallent in a six-round super welterweight tilt and the pro debut of Avenel, New Jersey’s Malik Nelson in a four-round super featherweight duel versus Alejandro Ramirez.
A Marine Corps veteran who picked up boxing after returning from overseas, Coffie (12-0, 9 KOs) quickly impressed in amateur tournaments enough to earn sparring assignments with Deontay Wilder and Adam Kownacki. The 35-year-old was born in the Bronx, but now trains in Orlando, Florida. Coffie broke through in 2020 by stopping previously unbeaten Luis Pena in the fifth round of their August matchup before earning a TKO over Joey Abell in November. Coffie added a highlight-reel knockout over previously unbeaten Darmani Rock in January of this year.
Born in South Carolina and now fighting out of Los Angeles, Rice (13-6-1, 9 KOs) won six of seven fights from 2018 through 2019. The 34-year-old will look to bounce back from a pair of losses in 2020 against unbeatens Efe Ajagba and Demsey McKean. In a pro career that dates back to 2014, the blemishes on Rice’s records have all come against previously unbeaten fighters as he looks to offer a stiff test to the so far undefeated Coffie.
An accomplished veteran contender in the 168-pound division, Dirrell (34-2-1, 25 KOs) returns to the ring for the second time at light heavyweight after a successful debut in December 2021 in which he knocked out Juan Ubaldo Cabrera in round five. The Flint, Michigan native and brother of two-time champion Anthony, Dirrell won a bronze medal at the 2004 Olympics and lost narrow decisions in world title fights against Carl Froch and James DeGale. Dirrell will be opposed by the 30-year-old Philadelphia-native Brooker (16-7, 6 KOs), who has scored a pair of victories so far in 2021. Prior to those two triumphs, Brooker’s previous two outings saw him drop a June 2019 contest to Michael Seals and defeat Lanell Bellows in September 2018.
The 25-year-old Montgomery (10-0, 10 KOs) turned pro in 2017 after an impressive amateur career that included two national Golden Gloves titles and victories over recognizable names such as Edgar Berlanga, Keeshawn Williams and Joseph Adorno, to name a few. The Macon, Georgia born fighter has stopped all 10 of his opponents inside of the distance in his pro career to date. He will face the 27-year-old Contreras (10-4-2, 6 KOs), who most recently fought unbeaten prospect Jalan Walker to a draw in April. The Monterrey, Mexico native’s previous outing had seen him drop a narrow split-decision against super bantamweight contender Ramon Cardenas in February.
A decorated U.S. amateur from the fighter-rich city of Philadelphia, Kroll (8-0, 6 KOs) turned pro in August 2018 with a first-round stoppage of DeAngelo Alcorn. The 26-year-old ended his first four fights inside of two rounds before going the distance and beating then unbeaten Shinard Bunch in August 2019. Most recently, Kroll’s 2020 campaign saw him score a TKO victory over Marcel Rivers in January and a unanimous decision over Luke Santamaria on FS1 in October. He will be opposed by DeLoach (19-5, 10 KOs), who will look to return to the win column after dropping his last contest to unbeaten welterweight Eimantas Stanionis in November. The 27-year-old from Augusta, Georgia put together an impressive run in 2017, defeating three-straight unbeaten fighters in Dillon Cook, Junior Castillo and Domonique Dolton, before knocking out Christopher Pearson in 2017.
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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