Showtime’s viewership increased Saturday night for its broadcast of Brandon Figueroa’s knockout of Luis Nery.
Nielsen Media Research reported Tuesday that an average of 221,000 viewers watched Showtime’s main event from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. The average viewership for the Figueroa-Nery fight was higher than the prior main event Showtime televised.
That bout, undefeated welterweight contender Jaron Ennis’ sixth-round knockout of Sergey Lipinets, was watched by an average audience of 187,000 on April 10 from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
Nielsen’s numbers include only those that watched Figueroa-Nery live on linear television. Those that viewed it via Showtime’s streaming service aren’t available because ViacomCBS, the parent company of Showtime and BoxingScene.com, does not release streaming figures.
The 24-year-old Figueroa (22-0-1, 17 KOs) knocked Nery to the canvas with a left uppercut to the body in the seventh round. The previously unbeaten Nery couldn’t beat referee Thomas Taylor’s count and the former WBC bantamweight champ lost for the first time as a professional (31-1, 24 KOs).
Figueroa, who won the WBC super bantamweight championship from Nery, was ahead on one scorecard and even on another card in a fan-friendly fight through six rounds. Judge Zachary Young had Figueroa in front 58-56 at the time of the stoppage, but judge Lou Moret scored five of the first six rounds for Nery (59-55) and judge Edward Hernandez Sr. scored their fight a draw through its scheduled halfway point (57-57).
Beating Nery moved Figueroa, of Weslaco, Texas, into a 122-pound title unification fight against WBO champ Stephen Fulton (19-0, 8 KOs). Showtime will televise the bout between Figueroa and Philadelphia’s Fulton on September 11 from an undetermined venue.
Before Figueroa defeated Nery, Showtime’s co-feature, Danny Roman’s points victory over Ricardo Espinoza, drew an average viewership of 213,000.
Los Angeles’ Roman (29-3-1, 10 KOs) fended off the aggressive Mexican and out-boxed Espinoza (25-4, 21 KOs) to win a unanimous decision in their 10-round junior featherweight fight. Judges Rudy Barragan (98-92), Hernandez (98-92) and Young (97-93) all scored Roman, a former IBF/WBA 122-pound champ, the winner by comfortable margins.
The opener of Showtime’s three-bout broadcast, Xavier Martinez’s unanimous-decision defeat of Juan Carlos Burgos, was watched by an average of 168,000 viewers. Sacramento’s Martinez (17-0, 11 KOs) beat Burgos (34-5-2, 21 KOs) by the same score, 99-91, on all three cards, but the Mexican veteran made their 10-round junior lightweight fight competitive.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.