Shakur Stevenson TKO Scored Saturday Ratings For ESPN
Shakur Stevenson’s dominant performance over Jamel Herring Saturday night in Atlanta to take the WBO Junior Lightweight title was impressive. And, as it turns out, the ESPN television audience for the Top Rank boxing main event was also good.
Television cable ratings were out on Tuesday and show that the Herring-Stevenson main event averaged 1.3 million viewers for the broadcast.
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) October 24, 2021
Now, the boxing card on ESPN had a massive lead in from their coverage of college football, which had top five Alabama hosting Tennessee in the SEC battle. That game was the most-watched college football game of Saturday with over 4.7 million on average tuning in. The ESPN boxing show began at approximately 10:40 eastern time after the conclusion of Bama – Tennessee. The main event with Stevenson and Herring did not begin until approximately 12:05 a.m. Eastern time Saturday morning.
Yet, some college football fans hung around and the boxing fans obviously tuned in, once the Top Rank show began with an undercard fights.
Both the college football and the boxing on ESPN had tough competition from the Major League Baseball with its clinching National League Championship Series game on TBS cable. The Atlanta Braves defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers to clinch a berth in the World Series and that was watched by almost 7 million fans on average during the “Prime time” slot.
That number easily won the night as cables most watched program.
So it was obviously a good move by Top Rank/ESPN to offer the fight on the regular cable service and also, that television number doesn’t reflect the full audience with the ESPN+ streaming service, which had many more fight fans watching as well.
Stevenson is a rising star now at 17-0, as he scored his 12th KO by stopping Herring in the 10th round. His performance was so good that only one judge gave a single round to Herring through the first nine. And, Stevenson will more than likely move into a pay-per-view realm for ESPN coming in 2022.
Still, ESPN has another scheduled fight card for it’s basic cable channel, featuring Vasiliy Lomachenko in a Lightweight title elimination bout in December on the Saturday night after the network televises the college football Heisman Trophy presentation.
In previous years Lomachenko, Terence Crawford and Teofimo Lopez have all fought on ESPN from New York right after that presentation.