By Keith Idec
Errol Spence Jr. fought a completely unknown opponent and gave himself only three minutes to build a television audience Saturday night.
That didn’t stop Spence from producing higher ratings for Showtime in this fight than his previous appearance on the premium cable network. According to ratings released Tuesday by Nielsen Media Research, Spence’s first-round knockout of overmatched mandatory challenger Carlos Ocampo drew a peak audience of 726,000.
The average audience for the three-minute Spence-Ocampo match was 683,000. Spence’s previous fight, an eighth-round technical knockout of Lamont Peterson on January 20 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, attracted a peak viewership of 695,000 and an average audience of 637,000.
The 28-year-old Spence (24-0, 21 KOs), of DeSoto, Texas, drilled Ocampo with a vicious left-right combination to the body that sent Ocampo (22-1, 13 KOs) to the canvas with three seconds to go in the first round in Frisco, Texas. Ocampo couldn’t get up before referee Laurence Cole reached the count of 10 and their scheduled 12-round fight for Spence’s IBF welterweight title was stopped with no time remaining in the first round.
The card headlined by Spence-Ocampo also drew a crowd of 12,604 to Ford Center at The Star, the Dallas Cowboys’ training center.
Showtime’s tripleheader Saturday night began with a no-contest between Javier Fortuna and Adrian Granados.
Granados (18-6-2, 12 KOs, 1 NC), of Cicero, Illinois, accidentally shoved Fortuna out of the ring in the fourth round, which caused Fortuna to hit his head on an unidentified object at ringside. The Dominican Republic’s Fortuna (33-2-1, 23 KOs, 1 NC) said he suffered head and neck injuries that prevented him from continuing and he was wheeled away from the ring on a stretcher.
The telecast of the Fortuna-Granados fight peaked at 441,000 viewers and averaged 396,000.
The second fight of Showtime’s three-bout broadcast Saturday night, WBA super bantamweight champ Danny Roman’s victory over of Moises Flores, peaked at 547,000 viewers and averaged 478,000. Los Angeles’ Roman (25-2-1, 9 KOs) out-boxed Mexico’s Flores (25-1, 17 KOs, 2 NC) to win a unanimous decision in their 12-round, 122-pound bout.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.