Despite a shorter telecast and with far more entertaining bouts, the most edition of Top Rank Boxing on ESPN saw a ratings dip from its previous series installment.
Thursday’s four-fight card—topped by Jessie Magdaleno’s 10th round disqualification win over Yenifel Vicente (36-5-2, 28KOs)—aired live on ESPN from MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, averaging 311,000 viewers over the course of the three-hour show, according to Nielsen Media Research. The telecast peaked at 392,000 viewers, which was fewer than the viewership average for Tuesday’s show on the same network, which saw unbeaten featherweight titlist Shakur Stevenson make his 130-pound debut in a knockout win over Puerto Rico’s Felix Caraballo.
The aforementioned card with Stevenson marked the first live boxing telecast in the United States since March 13, as the start of a summer series featuring shows every Tuesday and Thursday from Las Vegas at least through the end of July. Among the feedback from the June 9 card —which averaged 397,000 viewers and peaking at 609,000 viewers—was the lack of competitive action.
A considerable upgrade came from Thursday’s show, beginning with a scorcher of a co-feature. Adam ‘Blunose’ Lopez outlasted Luis Coria to take a majority decision in their furiously paced 10-round featherweight clash. A pair of preliminary bouts were wedged in between the far more significant featherweight bouts, with Magdaleno picking up his third straight win in the evening’s main event.
The low ratings came on a slow night for TV viewership as a whole. A lead-in offering of
NBA’s The Jump on ESPN averaged just 203,000 viewers, while the normally popular 11:00pm ET edition of ESPN’s SportsCenter averaged 180,000 viewers on the night.
Magdaleno (28-1, 18KOs) appeared in his first ESPN headliner since April 2018. It also marked his lone career defeat, suffering an 11th round stoppage at the hands of Isaac Dogboe which ended his junior featherweight title reign. The event averaged 711,000 viewers on the night, aided by day-long coverage of the NFL Draft.
The Las Vegas native has since rebounded with three straight wins, all airing on ESPN platforms.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox