By Jake Donovan
Adrien Broner continues to draw attention whenever he is involved in a fight, no matter the stakes. His most recent ring appearance was no exception, grinding out a 12-round points win over upset-minded Emmanuel Taylor in their September 6 headliner in Broner’s hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio.
The fight—which topped a Showtime-televised tripleheader—topped out at just over 1 million viewers, good for 8th highest peak audience for a Showtime bout since 2012. The main event averaged 852,000 viewers, all of whom watched as Broner was forced to overcome an early deficit, rallying late and dropping Taylor in the closing seconds of the contest to grind out a well-deserved unanimous decision.
Overall, the tripleheader–which began 9:30 p.m. ET and ran over two hours, averaged 711,000 viewers, which is 25% higher than Showtime’s 2014 season average. It was also the second-most watched Showtime boxing event of 2014, ranked behind Danny Garcia’s points win over Mauricio Herrera in March, a show that also included the exclusive rebroadcast of Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez’ pay-per-view aired stoppage win over Alfredo Angulo from one week prior.
The chief support boasted former 140 lb. titlist Lucas Matthysse, who stopped previously unbeaten Roberto Ortiz in two rounds. Despite the brief amount of time on air, the fight managed to pull in an average 781,000 viewers, which is good for the 20th highest bout average of all time since Nielsen began individually tracking premium cable networks in 2004. The fight bumped Rafael Marquez-Israel Vazquez IV from 2010 out of the number 20 spot.
Broner has proven to be a ratings magnet on both Showtime and HBO. All three of his bouts on Showtime have drawn over 1 million viewers, beginning with his points win over Paul Malignaggi last June. The former three-division champ has now headlined two of the Top 13 most viewed boxing events since 2004. The other resulted in the lone loss of his career, when he was soundly outclassed by Marcos Maidana last December.
The ratings pull by Showtime gives the network well-received results in back-to-back weekends. J’Leon Love’s upset knockout loss to Rogelio Medina–which aired on August 30–was the highest rated ShoBox event of 2014. The returns were precisely what the network sought as lead-ins towards the upcoming September 13 rematch between Floyd Mayweather and Marcos Maidana, which headlines on pay-per-view.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com, as well as the Records Keeper for the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and a member of Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox