Last night’s Top Rank on ESPN (10:25 p.m. ET to 12:36 a.m. ET) scored three major victories. The overall event delivered a 1.6 metered market rating according to Nielsen, making it the highest-rated boxing telecast in 2018 across all broadcast and cable networks. The main event, featuring Terence Crawford (34-0, 25 KOs) vs. Jose Benavidez, Jr. (27-1, 18 KOs), averaged a 1.8 metered market, making it making it the year’s highest-rated Top Rank bout and main event on ESPN. It was an electric, full house at the CHI Health Center in Omaha, as hometown favorite Terence “Bud” Crawford, defeated Benavidez Jr. by 12th-round TKO to defend his WBO welterweight world title.
The featured co-main event, a battle between Shakur Stevenson (9-0, 5 KOs) vs Viorel Simion (21-3,9 KOs), also delivered big for ESPN, scoring a 1.3 metered market rating, making it the year’s second highest-rated Top Rank on ESPN event. Stevenson, a 2016 U.S. Olympic silver medalist, knocked Simion down three times en route to a first-round TKO in the scheduled 10-round co-feature.
Top Things to Know
Last night’s entire Top Rank on ESPN telecast averaged a 1.6 metered market rating, making it the highest-rated boxing telecast in 2018 across all broadcast and cable networks and the highest-rated Top Rank on ESPN telecast, behind Pacquiao vs Horn in July 2017.
The Crawford vs Benavidez, Jr. main event averaged a 1.8 metered market rating, making it the highest-rated Top Rank bout and main event in 2018. The fight averaged 80% higher rating than the Crawford-Indongo fight in August 2017 (1.0 metered market rating).
Stevenson vs Simion co-main averaged a 1.3 metered market rating, making it the second highest-rated Top Rank fight in 2018, besting Lomachenko vs Linares (1.0 metered market rating, May 2018) which was this year’s highest-rated Top Rank fight until last night
Last night’s event is ESPN’s second highest-rated Top Rank telecast since ESPN acquired the rights in 2017.
Top Local Markets
Rank Market Metered Market Rating
1 Birmingham 11.9
2 Norfolk 5.5
3 New Orleans 4.5
4 Memphis 3.6
5 Kansas City 3.3
Next up on Top Rank on ESPN is the Michael “Mick” Conlan (8-0, 5 KOs) vs Nicola Cipolletta (14-6-2, 4 KOs) who will face each other in an eight-round featherweight bout Saturday, Oct. 20 at Park Theater at Park MGM on the undercard of Ryota Murata’s WBA middleweight title defense against Rob Brant (10:30 p.m. ET). Conlan vs. Cipolletta will be the featured attraction on the undercard broadcast, which will begin at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN+ — the new multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer & International segment in conjunction with ESPN.