Rising unbeaten heavyweight Michael Coffie will square off against former world title challenger Gerald “El Gallo Negro” Washington.
Welterweight prospect and New Jersey-native Vito Mielnicki Jr. will battle James Martin in an eight-round rematch in the co-main event, as Mielnicki looks to avenge the first loss of his career.
“Michael Coffie has risen up the heavyweight rankings quickly and will look to take another big step when he faces the always dangerous Gerald Washington live on FOX on Saturday, July 31,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions.
“In the co-main event, the fans at Prudential Center will be in for a treat as New Jersey’s Vito Mielnicki Jr. steps right back into the ring seeking revenge against James Martin, after Martin spoiled his perfect record in April.”
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 fights out of Brooklyn. 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.
“This is going to be a really good fight,” said Coffie.
“It’s a fight I need to get me moving in the right direction. I’ve been wanting to fight Washington for a while now. He’s only been beat by top level guys, and this is a way to prove that I belong in that class.
“It’s amazing to be headlining on FOX. This is a ‘no guts, no glory’ kind of fight. I have to take advantage of this opportunity in a step-up fight.”
Washington (20-4-1, 13 KOs) is a six-foot-six heavyweight contender who was a former college football standout at the University of Southern California and a U.S. Navy veteran.
Born in San Jose, California, Washington most recently lost a contest against former heavyweight champion Charles Martin in February 2020. Prior to that fight, Washington had delivered a knockout of veteran contender Robert Helenius in July 2019.
Washington was unbeaten in his first 19 pro fights before dropping his world title challenge to Deontay Wilder in February 2017.
“I’m real excited to be back in the ring and back on FOX,” said Washington.
“This is another major opportunity for me and I’m going to do everything in my power to fully capitalize on it. Michael Coffie is a good fighter. I like what I’ve seen from him so far. Not to mention, we’re both veterans. I’m looking forward to this fight and I expect fireworks. I believe my experience will carry me to victory. “
Representing Roseland, New Jersey, Mielnicki (8-1, 5 KOs) will look to bounce back after losing by decision to Martin in April on FOX.
The 19-year-old began turning heads during an exceptional amateur career where he compiled a 147-22 record and was named the Most Outstanding Boxer of the 2011 Junior National Golden Gloves amongst many accolades before turning pro.
Mielnicki was able to add four victories to his ledger in 2020 and he kicked off his 2021 campaign with a knockout of Noe Lopez in February on FOX.
“I believe everything happens for a reason and everyone has their own path,” said Mielnicki.
“James Martin was the better man that night in our first fight, and I know what to expect from him come July 31. You won’t see a young prospect doing what I’m doing, making a rematch only four months after my first career loss, in my hometown and in front of my family and friends.
“Expect nothing but fireworks on July 31. I can’t wait to show the world why I’m different! Tune in and get your tickets now.”
The 24-year-old Martin (7-2) scored a career-best victory in upsetting the previously unbeaten Mielnicki in April.
Martin first turned pro in 2017 and won his first four fights to begin his career. Fighting out of Philadelphia, Martin has won three of his last four showdowns dating back to late 2019, including dropping a decision to unbeaten prospect Xander Zayas in February.
“I am going for the knockout this time,” said Martin.
“You will see me fight better. I feel I have the advantage, because I gave him his first loss, and he will always have that in the back of his head. I don’t think that he can bring anything different in the rematch.”