A hometown showcase for Caleb Plant generated a live atmosphere on site, as well as the best performing viewing audience of 2020 to date.
The February 15 edition of Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on Fox saw a significant spike in ratings across the board, with the event peaking at 1.809 million viewers according to Nielsen Media Research. The three-fight telecast reached its viewing pinnacle at the 10:00pm ET hour, in time for Plant’s 10th round stoppage of Germany’s Vincent Feigenbutz (31-2, 28KOs) to defend his super middleweight title in front of a vibrant hometown crowd at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee.
Plant (20-0, 12KOs)—whose Ashland City hometown is less than 45 minutes from downtown—served in his second consecutive PBC on FOX headliner, with Saturday’s three-fight telecast averaging 1.528 million viewers as a whole. The figure marks a 17% increase from the previous edition of PBC on Fox, whose three-fight telecast averaged 1.302 million viewers. The main event saw Jeison Rosario score a stunning 5th round knockout of Julian ‘J-Rock’ Williams to claim the junior middleweight title, which averaged 1.536 million viewers and peaked at 1.565 million viewers for the action live from the Liacouras Center in Williams’ hometown of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Plant’s long overdue homecoming enjoyed a 10% increase from last month’s main event average, and a 16% increase in peak viewership. The telecast was also an 11% improvement from a similarly slotted offering from one year ago, which averaged 1.377 million viewers.
That event was topped by Leo Santa Cruz in a 12-round win over Rafael Rivera in his adopted home region of Los Angeles, with his main event averaging 1.671 million viewers and a peak audience of 1.75 million viewers.
Saturday’s main event averaged 1.689 million viewers, the best performing of the three-fight event. The televised opener saw Diego Magdaleno breathe new life into his career after the Las Vegas, Nevada native scored a 10-round decision over Hendersonville’s Austin Dulay (13-1, 10KOs). The bout averaged 1.585 million at the 8:00pm ET hour, enjoying a strong lead-in from the 2020 season premiere of XFL which averaged 2.324 million viewers.
The evening’s chief support was the least viewed of the night but also proving to be the most dramatic. Abel Ramos (26-3-2, 20KOs)—a 28-year old welterweight from Casa Grande, Arizona—overcame a massive deficit on the scorecard to score a literal last-second stoppage of Ft. Myers, Florida native Bryant Perrella (17-3, 14KOs). The 10-round welterweight heat was part of a block which averaged 1.441 million viewers.
As for Plant, it’s also a personal best in the ratings for any of his televised fights, the last three of which served as headliners.
The 27-year old holds the mark for the most watched bout of any boxing event ever to air on FS1, with his 12-round title win over Jose Uzcategui peaking at 986,000 viewers last January from Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. His first defense came last July, stopping unbeaten but overmatched Mike Lee in three rounds, which attracted a peak audience of 1.141 million viewers live on Fox from MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Saturday’s telecast also attracted an additional 68,000 viewers on a delayed airing on Fox Deportes, along with an average minute audience of 6,676 streaming live on the Fox Sports app.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox