Advertisement: IBO Boxing

Verdejo-Madera ESPN Telecast Peaks At 444K Viewers

Felix Verdejo made a splash in the ring, while helping Top Rank and ESPN improve network ratings for the second straight telecast.

The resurgent lightweight took a significant step forward in his career following a 1st round knockout of previously unbeaten Will Madera (15-1-3, 8KOs). The bout topped the July 16 edition of Top Rank Boxing on ESPN which averaged 326,000 viewers over the course of the 136-minute telecast, according to Nielsen Media Research.

The four-fight event reached a peak viewing audience of 444,000 viewers, coming at the 9:45pm-10:00pm ET block during Verdejo’s statement-making early exit.

verdejo-madera-fight (3)

Overall, the telecast marked a 6% improvement from the series’ preceding event on Tuesday which averaged 307,000 viewers. In comparing main events, Verdejo’s 1st round stoppage of Madera outpaced the viewership of Mikaela Mayer’s 10-round win over Helen Joseph which averaged 369,500 viewers and peaked at 380,000.

Verdejo’s shining moment helped save a show which suffered three fallouts during fight week. The original main event was lost at the scale after Philippines’ Mark John Yap weighed nearly nine pounds above the contracted limit for his canceled clash versus featherweight contender Miguel Marriaga.

Two more bouts were scrapped due to a fighter from each matchup testing positive for coronavirus.

It was clear from the moment his bout received an upgrade that Verdejo (27-1, 17KOs) was prepared to carry the event. Much has been made of the fact that he simply did what he was supposed to do, given the opposition level.

Still, it showed the strides made in his second straight camp with renowned trainer Ismael Salas. His desire to pursue unified lightweight titlist and pound-for-pound entrant Vasiliy Lomachenko (14-1, 10KOs)—who defeated Verdejo in the quarterfinal round of the 2012 London Olympics—remains more ambitious than realistic, but his career is on the right track for the first time in years.

Verdejo has appeared twice before on ESPN’s flagship station, both in his lone career defeat and his most recent bout prior to Thursday. The 2012 Puerto Rico Olympian and’s 2013 Prospect of the Year suffered a stunning 10th round stoppage loss to Antonio Lozada in a March 2018 bout at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater in New York City.  Four wins have followed, including a pair of ESPN=aired victories in 2020.

Earlier this year, Verdejo managed a 10-round victory over Manuel Rojas on a January 18 telecast headlined by former light heavyweight titlist Eleider Alvarez’s 7th round knockout of Michael Seals. The show played to 704,000 viewers, though serving as the benefactor of a UFC preliminary undercard to the triumphant return of global superstar Conor McGregor’s return. The preceding ESPN telecast averaged 1.767 million viewers.

Of course, all of that took place at a time when sports were thriving with fans in attendance and viewers given a reason to regularly watch sports-only television network. The bulk of Top Rank’s closed-doors series has served as the most watched program every Tuesday and Thursday evening it has aired since its June 9 debut.

The final show for the month will take place July 21, with former featherweight titlist Oscar Valdez (27-0, 21KOs) to face Puerto Rico’s Jayson Velez (29-6-1, 22KOs) in a 10-round junior lightweight battle. From there will come a 16-day break before the series picks up again on August 6, at which point it will run on Thursdays only.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

User Comments and Feedback
Comment by Dasmius Shinobi on 07-19-2020

Better numbers than expected. Felix Verdejo is going to attract more viewers, If he shine more the better the competition. I have faith in Ismael Salas work. :boxing:

Comment by Bda31175 on 07-18-2020

What gym in Toledo, OH is ESPN/ Top Rank drawing from to fill out these cards? Alot of these guys seem to be hailing from that city.

Comment by Combosnkos on 07-18-2020

It was a horrible card like usual from top rank. But the reason why alittle more people watched cause they had a name beyond hardcore fight fans. But the hardcore fans know felix v. Isn't going anywhere. Top rank had…

Comment by jonnyc420 on 07-17-2020

Unimpressed, fought a can and won. He will lose again when he steps up.

Top Headlines
Jazza Dickens Decisions Ryan Walsh - Wins Golden Contract Ricards Bolotniks Beats Down, Stops Serge Michel in Tenth - Wins Golden Contract Edgar Berlanga is Motivated To End The Year in Style Billy Joe Saunders Admits Poor Diet May Cost Him Big One Day Hafthor Bjornsson vs. Steven Ward Exhibition on January 16 Sebastian Fundora-Habib Ahmed Set, Jorge Cota Positive For COVID-19 Derek Chisora To Return in March or April, Says Hearn Jarrell Miller Issued 24-Month Suspension By Nevada Commission For Drug Testing Violation Billy Joe Saunders, Martin Murray - Face-Off at Final Presser's Television Pick of The Week - December 2 Murray: If I Fought People Saunders Fought - I'd Have a World Title Frank Warren Fires Off at Eddie Hearn Over Dubois Comments Joshua-Pulev Heavyweight Title Fight To Take Place With Fans In Attendance Danny Garcia Wants To Help Boxers Manage Finances After Career Spence: A Tune-Up Fight Wasn’t Gonna Answer Questions That Need To Be Answered Julio Cesar Martinez vs. Francisco Rodriguez Set For Canelo-Callum Smith Bill Brian Ceballo Eager To Face Bigger Names in 2021 AIBA Has More To Prove To Show Capability of Running Olympic Boxing Again Mike Tyson Smoked Weed Before & After Roy Jones Fight, All Throughout Training Camp Anthony Joshua: The Longer I Wait For Fury, The Better Prepared I'll Be James Tennyson Focused, Not Taking Josh O'Reilly Lightly Director Drath Strikes Documentary Gold With "Macho Camacho" Tale Joshua: Fury Never Drew Large Stadium Crowds - He Needs Me To Do So! Povetkin's Promoter: Decision Soon on Whether or Not Whyte Rematch Lands in January Emmanuel Rodriguez Believes Age Will Be Factor in Nonito Donaire Fight Anthony Joshua Defends Daniel Dubois, Hits Back at 'Quitter' Attacks Beibut Shumenov vs. Ryad Merhy is Ordered By WBA Amanda Serrano Set For December 17 Ring Return In Hollywood Billy Joe Saunders Putting in Work For Martin Murray Clash Sebastian Fundora: I Hope Jorge Cota Brings His A-Game Euro News: Johnson-Mikhalkin, De Carolis-Bauer, Schwarz Facing 10 Years Holyfield To Mike Tyson: No More Excuses, Sign The Contract - I'm Ready Keith Thurman: In 2021, I Want The Spence-Garcia Winner! Daniel Dubois Will Be Out For Five Months Due To Eye Injury Saunders is Hoping Murray Provides Rounds, Wants Big Fights in 2021 Big Wins Shakes Things Up: BoxingScene Competition Index November Update Julian Williams Now Training With SugarHill, Looks To Return Soon Claressa Shields Confirms PFL Deal: I Want Titles in Boxing & MMA at The Same Time Vergil Ortiz On Canelo Leaving: Now Golden Boy Has More Time To Think About Us Eduardo Ramirez To Face Miguel Flores on Spence-Garcia PPV Card
Latest Forum Threads