A few days ago we discussed the first month of ratings for Top Rank Boxing on ESPN’s “Summer Series,” taking place without fans at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas, being branded “The Bubble” on broadcasts, because that’s a shorter, catchier name.
In short, the numbers aren’t great. They’ve peaked at 418,000 average viewers for the June 27 show headlined by Miguel Berchelt vs Eleazar Valenzuela, and that was really more because they had a top-rated UFC live show as a lead-in, quite likely — and not even being funny — leading to some dads dozing off on the couch with an 11:43 pm ET start for the boxing, elevating the numbers a bit.
Other than that show, the peak came on June 9, the first show back, with 397,000 average viewers for Shakur Stevenson’s easy win over Felix Caraballo. Since then, only two shows have even met 350,000 average viewers (Greer-Plania on June 16 and Pedraza-LesPierre on July 2), and the standard expectation is that you’re going to get 300,000 average viewers per show, give or take a bit, but never really dipping below that.
Tuesday night was a unique situation. When Jamel Herring tested positive for COVID-19 again, his WBO junior lightweight title defense against Jonathan Oquendo was scrapped. (Herring has since tested negative, because testing just isn’t 100% accurate at this point, and he’d legitimately had the virus before.)
Herring-Oquendo being off meant that the new main event was a women’s fight between Mikaela Mayer and Helen Joseph. Mayer has had some decent media push from Top Rank, but there were some questions as to whether or not a women’s fight being in the main event would dip the ratings even lower.
Well, there’s no real news either good or bad on that front.
Mayer-Joseph did 307,000 average viewers, right about in line with what every other show has done. We continue to see the 300K diehard boxing fans who are going to tune in for just about everything showing up to watch without any legitimate star attractions or “big fights.”
So Mayer-Joseph didn’t pull a shocker and turn in a big rating, but it also didn’t lose anyone.
It was, to get fully specific, the fourth-lowest rated show by average viewers of the 13 ESPN broadcasts since June 9. They did slightly better than the June 30 show headlined by Alex Saucedo vs Sonny Fredrickson (298K); the July 9 heavyweight-led show featuring Carlos Takam vs Jerry Forrest (299K); and the June 18 show where Gabriel Flores Jr was bumped into the main event on short notice against Josec Ruiz (305K).