There is a PBC boxing card Saturday night on FOX from the Prudential Center in Newark. I like how FOX is broadcasting boxing on the main network instead of this on FOX1. There are people that like to watch a sport that isn’t baseball during the summer. The problem with this card is that it isn’t going to exactly move the meter. There have been multiple drop outs on the card with Gerald Washington off the main event.
The plan was to have Washington and Michael Coffie fight in the feature bout at the Prudential Center. That’s not happening after Washington tested positive for Covid. This wouldn’t have made for some must-watch event for casual boxing fans, but it probably would have been a tight and bruising battle between Washington and Coffie. We’re still going to have a heavyweight fight, though, with Jonathan Rice stepping in to challenge Coffie on short notice. This presents a challenge for Washington and Coffie.
Taking fights on short notice and having to prepare for a new opponent without time to prepare presents a difficult task. That said, we’re in a new world where having to prepare for the unexpected and a scenario such as this is the norm. I am sure that Rice had some idea that he could have been called on to fight on Saturday night. He wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity for an upset against Coffie. It would be a heck of an upset against the former Marine who turned pro at 31.
Rice has nothing to lose in Newark this evening. He’s a heavy underdog and can leave it all hang out. Coffie has spent the past several weeks preparing for Washington, so perhaps Rice can surprise and hang around and take this fight deep? If Rice gets this bout to a decision, he is likely going to be happy with a competitive performance. He’s pushed a couple of capable boxers before, so we’ll see what there is in the tank in the main event on the Saturday night PBC card in Newark. Head below for our free Michael Coffie vs. Jonathan Rice pick on July 31, 2021.
Michael Coffie vs. Jonathan Rice PBC Boxing Betting Odds:
Michael Coffie vs. Jonathan Rice Prediction:
What would have likely been a close bout between Michael Coffie and Gerald Washington is a lopsided matchup on paper. There have been bigger upsets before, but Jonathan Rice will need a lot to go his way. From what we’ve seen in his strategies against superior opponents, his defensive approach without going on the offensive isn’t going to work against Coffie. Rice didn’t look like a guy that was interested in beating Efe Ajagba in his last fight on September 19, 2020.
He played it safe and was just looking to get the match to a judge’s decision. Certainly that isn’t to say that Rice wasn’t looking for an opening to KO Ajagba, but he was well aware that it was his only chance of winning. He was waiting for a big mistake from Ajagba that never came and accepted a UD loss.
In another instance of Rice playing the same strategy against a superior opponent was against Arslanbek Makhmudov in 2019. Rice didn’t win, but he got the fight to the seventh round which was an accomplishment against an opponent of his caliber. Makhmudov has demolished every boxer in the early stages he’s faced in his career.
Rice is by far the longest anyone has survived against Makhmudov. In 11 bouts, Makhmudov has taken care of his opponents as follows: 1 TKO, 1 TKO, 1 TKO, 2 TKO, 1 KO, 1 TKO, 1 TKO, 7 TKO, 3 TKO, 1 TKO, 1 TKO. In other words, Rice is the only boxer to get him past the third round. And it isn’t like Rice was rocked in that fight, he was still standing when the official called the bout. Before the decision loss against Ajagba, Rice brought 19-0-0 Demsey McKean to the final 10th round before getting TKO’d.
Coffie is a perfect 12-0-0 and is coming off a TKO win over Darmani Rock in the third round. Rock was completely out of shape and looked like he was done within a minute of the first. Coffie could have just spared in that one and Rock likely drops from fatigue at some point. The fact Rock got the fight to the third was a win considering the shape he was in. He should beat Rice soundly in this one, but not before his opponent plays keepaway. There is no value on the Coffie moneyline or even for him to end this via a TKO or KO at -330. A late TKO with this one going OVER 5.5 rounds looks like a more reasonable wager.