Top Rank's ESPN Show Averaged 741,000 Viewers Saturday Night

By Keith Idec

Top Rank’s show Saturday night didn’t resonate with viewers the way its previous ESPN card did.

Its doubleheader featuring Gilberto Ramirez and Jerwin Ancajas in separate fights averaged 741,000 viewers, according to ratings released Tuesday by Nielsen Media Research. Top Rank’s last ESPN offering of 2017, headlined by Vasyl Lomachenko and Guillermo Rigondeaux, averaged 1.73 million viewers December 9.

A lower rating for Saturday’s show was anticipated due to the differing levels of those two events. The bout between Lomachenko and Rigondeaux, who declined to continue after six rounds in The Theater at Madison Square Garden, was a much higher-profile fight than the main even between Ramirez and Habib Ahmed.

ramirez-ahmed (5)

Rigondeaux (17-1, 11 KOs, 1 NC) is eight years older than Ukraine’s Lomachenko (10-1, 8 KOs) and moved up two weight classes to challenge him for the WBO super featherweight title. Like Lomachenko, however, he was generally regarded as one of the top 10 boxers, pound-for-pound, in the world.

Mexico’s Ramirez is an unbeaten super middleweight champion. Ghana’s Ahmed, though the No. 4 contender for Ramirez’s WBO 168-pound title, was completely unknown among American fight fans before Saturday night and hadn’t boxed outside of Ghana since turning pro in August 2011.

Ramirez (37-0, 25 KOs) completely controlled their one-sided fight and stopped Ahmed (25-1-1, 17 KOs) in the sixth round at American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas.

In the opener of ESPN’s doubleheader, which started at approximately 10:30 p.m. ET, Ancajas, a Filipino southpaw who has drawn comparisons to Manny Pacquiao, knocked out Mexico’s Israel Gonzalez in the 10th round of their 115-pound title fight.

Ancajas (29-1-1, 20 KOs) dropped Gonzalez (21-2, 8 KOs) three times, once in the first round and twice in the 10th, before their scheduled 12-rounder was stopped.

Top Rank’s next card on ESPN, with which Bob Arum’s promotional company has an exclusive television deal, is scheduled for February 16.

That show will be headlined by Phoenix’s Ray Beltran (34-7-1, 21 KOs, 1 NC), who’ll meet Namibia’s Paulus Moses (40-3, 25 KOs) for the vacant WBO lightweight title in Reno, Nevada.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Gambino on 02-07-2018

[QUOTE=bigdunny1;18467253]Weak ratings. That's basically HBO Boxing After Dark numbers but on ESPN who is in 3X more homes then HBO. And it had live attendance of only 3,200 (according to Fat Boy Dan) in a arena that is designed to…

Comment by Gambino on 02-07-2018

[QUOTE=Robbie Barrett;18468601]Apart from Pacquiao-Horn and Loma-Rigo all the ESPN/Top Rank cards have been 700k or lower haven't they?[/QUOTE] There's been 3 cards over a million. The Crawford one did over 900k but the main event was 1.3 million. None uner…

Comment by DuckAdonis on 02-07-2018

[QUOTE=yoshik;18467441]Ramirez...LOL and there are those youngsters that will say GGG is running from him and would get his ass kicked or KOd.[/QUOTE] Imagine Borat fighting the #5 ranked Ghanaian lmao...people would lose their ****

Comment by North Star on 02-07-2018

Basically a card full of unknowns and no promotion, this is what you get. I tuned in by accident and was surprised that boxing was on.

Comment by IMDAZED on 02-07-2018

[QUOTE=Robbie Barrett;18468601]Apart from Pacquiao-Horn and Loma-Rigo all the ESPN/Top Rank cards have been 700k or lower haven't they?[/QUOTE] Crawford did 1m.

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