By Keith Idec
Devon Alexander’s close loss to Andre Berto drew lower ratings than Alexander’s previous appearance on FOX, but higher ratings than the network’s boxing broadcast in a comparable summer slot last year.
According to Nielsen Media Research ratings released Tuesday, the Alexander-Berto bout drew a peak audience of 1,266,000 viewers in prime time Saturday night. That 12-round main event, which Berto won by split decision, attracted an average audience of 1,193,000 viewers.
The combined average viewership for the four fights FOX aired Saturday night from Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York, was 941,000.
Berto (32-5, 24 KOs), of Winter Haven, Florida, overcame a suspect third-round knockdown to defeat Alexander (27-5-1, 14 KOs) on two of three scorecards in this battle between former welterweight champions.
The peak rating for Alexander-Berto was lower than for Alexander’s controversial draw with Victor Ortiz, which peaked at 1,530,000 viewers February 17 from El Paso, Texas. The average viewership for Alexander-Berto was higher, however, than for Alexander-Ortiz (1,136,000).
Berto-Alexander also out-performed FOX’s summer prime-time telecast in 2017. The main event of that broadcast – Omar Figueroa Jr.’s five-knockdown, third-round stoppage of Robert Guerrero – drew a peak viewership of 1,039,000. An average of 886,000 viewers watched the entire FOX show last July 15 from Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
As expected, the three fights FOX televised before Berto beat Alexander drew lower ratings.
Peter Quillin’s victory over J’Leon Love averaged 915,000 viewers. Quillin (34-1-1, 23 KOs), a former WBO middleweight champion from Grand Rapids, Michigan, easily defeated Detroit’s Love (24-2-1, 13 KOs) by unanimous decision in a 10-round super middleweight match that lacked action.
The fight that aired just before Berto-Alexander, Joey Spencer’s second-round knockout of Bruce Lutchmedial, was watched by an average of 938,000 viewers. Spencer (4-0, 4 KOs), an 18-year-old super middleweight prospect from Union City, California, knocked down Toronto’s Lutchmedial (2-5, 2 KOs) twice before their scheduled four-rounder was stopped.
The opener of this four-fight telecast, Sergey Lipinets’ win against Erick Bone, drew an average of 747,000 viewers. Kazakhstan’s Lipinets (14-1, 10 KOs) won a majority decision in his 10-round welterweight debut, during which he seemed to defeat Ecuador’s Bone (20-6, 8 KOs) convincingly.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.