By: Sean Crose
The PBC returned to Fox on Saturday with a card aired live from Newark’s Prudential Center. Gerald Washington, the veteran heavyweight, was supposed to highlight the event. Sadly, Washington was removed from competition due to testing positive for Covid. Therefore, Washington’s would-be opponent, the rising 12-0 Michael Coffie faced the 13-6-1 Jonathan Rice in a scheduled 10 rounder. Rice came out to the ring with no robe or shirt. Waiting for Coffie to arrive, he bounced and moved about with fluidity. Coffie, the ex-marine, entered the ring looking cool and relaxed.
Rice started off flicking his jab well in the first. Coffie, however, moved forward patiently. Still, Rice continued to flick the jab well in the second. He also landed very well in the last seconds of the round. To the undoubted surprise of many, Rice kept looking right at home in the third, while Coffie appeared puzzled. Coffie was rocked in the first minute of the fourth. Yet Coffie kept moving forward.
The beginning of the fifth saw Rice putting his punches together quickly and effectively. Still, as the broadcast team noted, Coffie had been landing to the body well. His shots may not have been as flashy as Rice’s, but they were effective. No matter. Rice continued to bang away to Coffie’s head. A final flurry of punches led the referee to wisely stop the fight. It was a brilliant performance from a fighter in a main event he wasn’t even supposed to take part in.
Boxing is a great sport.