The year-end edition of Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on Fox delivered in every way imaginable from the undercard through the main event.
Early returns suggested it delivered in a big way on the ratings front as well.
Nielsen Media Research fast nationals have Saturday’s edition of PBC on Fox averaging 1.415 million viewers, along with posting a 1.3 metered market rating. Headlining the show, Jermell Charlo (33-1, 17KOs) scored a revenge-fueled 11th round stoppage of Tony Harrison (28-3, 21KOs) in their 154-pound title fight rematch live from Toyota Arena in Ontario, California.
Saturday’s main event was paired well with unbeaten heavyweight prospect Efe Ajagba (12-0, 10KOs) trade knockdowns with Poland’s Iago Kiladze (26-5-1, 18KOs) in five rounds. Both bouts trailed the tablesetter with Mexico’s Rene Tellez Giron scoring a major upset in a 7th round knockout of 2016 U.S. Olympian and previously unbeaten lightweight prospect Karlos Balderas.
The preliminary viewership rating places Saturday’s show as the second-most watched boxing telecast of 2019, trailing only the January 26 edition of PBC on Fox topped by the ring return of then-unbeaten welterweight Keith Thurman in a 12-round win over Josesito Lopez.
The 1.3 metered market rating—which is a sampling of overnight data collected from the top 44 U.S. televised markets—is tied for the second most-watched boxing telecast of the year, placing it alongside a March 9 card which featured then-welterweight titlist Shawn Porter in a narrow win over Yordenis Ugas, which also aired on Fox.
Both shows saw a significant spike in overall viewership average from overnight ratings to final viewership. Thurman-Lopez and Porter-Ugas a drew well over 2 million viewers, as did the headlining act for the PBC on Fox card featuring the first fight between Harrison and Charlo but which was topped by Jermell’s twin brother, Jermall Charlo in a 12-round win over Matt Korobov which peaked at 2.421 million viewers.
Saturday’s rematch was originally scheduled to take place this past June, only for Harrison to suffer an ankle injury which forced a lengthy postponement while waiting on an available date. Charlo still fought in June, tearing through late replacement Jorge Cota in a bout which averaged 1.832 million viewers.
The strong viewership for the rematch is in line with fan engagement throughout the telecast, and with the likely scenario of better news to come as figures generally trending upward once final numbers are released after the holidays. As it presently stands, PBC on Fox will boast the eight most watched bouts of the year.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox