Top Rank Boxing on ESPN won the night for combat sports last night. Not only did the Linares vs. Lomanchenko main event draw a 1.0 metered market rating, making it cable television’s highest-rated fight of 2018, according to Nielsen overnight data, but the entire Top Rank on ESPN telecast was ESPN’s highest-rated Top Rank telecast of the year.
Vasiliy Lomachenko stopped Jorge Linares in the tenth round to win the WBA and Ring Magazine lightweight titles in front of a packed house at Madison Square Garden. A left hand to the body put Linares down for the 10-count.
Lomachenko (11-1, 9 KOs) is a now a three-weight world champion. With this victory, he has shattered the all-time boxing record for fewest fights needed to win a world title in three weight divisions, accomplishing that in just his 12th fight. Lomachenko broke the record held by Australian legend Jeff Fenech, a Hall of Famer who won world titles at bantamweight and junior featherweight before winning a belt at featherweight in his 20th fight in 1988.
Main Things to Know
Last night’s entire Top Rank on ESPN telecast averaged a 0.8 metered market rating, making it ESPN’s highest-rated Top Rank telecast of 2018
The main event, featuring Jorge Linares and Vasiliy Lomachenko, averaged a 1.0 metered market rating, making it cable’s television’s highest-rated fight of 2018
The co-feature, featuring Alejandro Barrera vs. Carlos Adames, averaged a 0.7 metered market rating, tying it as the third highest-rated fight on ESPN this year
2018 TOP BOXING OVERNIGHT RATINGS ON CABLE TELEVISION (BY FIGHT)
RANK DATE NETWORK FIGHT MTRD MKT RTG
1 5/12/2018 ESPN LOMACHENKO vs. LINARES 1.0
T-2 5/5/2018 HBO GOLOVKIN vs. MARTIROSYAN 0.9
T-2 4/28/2018 HBO JACOBS vs. SULECKI 0.9
T-4 3/10/2018 ESPN VENCES vs. DE LEON 0.8
T-4 3/3/2018 SHOWTIME WILDER vs. ORTIZ 0.8
T-6 3/10/2018 ESPN VALDEZ vs. QUIGG 0.7
T-6 5/12/2018 ESPN ADAMES vs BARRERA 0.7
T-6 1/27/2018 HBO MATTHYSSE vs. KIRAM 0.7
T-6 5/5/2018 HBO BRAEKHUS vs. REIS 0.7
T-6 3/3/2018 HBO KOVALEV vs. MIKHALKIN 0.7
Main markets tuning in for last night’s event included Norfolk, VA; Los Angeles, Memphis, New Orleans and Columbus, OH. The telecast peaked during the final two quarter hours with a 1.1 metered market rating.
Top Rank on ESPN returns for two big ESPN+-exclusive fights May 26 and June 9. ESPN+ is the recently-launched multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer and International segment, in partnership with ESPN.
On May 26, two 115-pound talents will take center stage on the first Top Rank on ESPN world championship card on ESPN+. Jerwin ‘Pretty Boy’ Ancajas defends the International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior bantamweight world title against countryman Jonas Sultan and Great Britain’s Kal Yafai will make the third defense of his World Boxing Association (WBA) super flyweight title against David Carmona, both from SaveMart Center in Fresno, CA. The doubleheader will air live exclusively on ESPN+ in the United States. Main event coverage will start at 9:30 p.m. ET, while undercard action will be shown beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET.
On June 9, Terence “Bud” Crawford faces Jeff “The Hornet” Horn in a battle for the WBO Welterweight World Title from the MGM Grand Garden Arena. The live event will air exclusively on ESPN+ in the United States. Crawford-Horn coverage will start at 9:30 p.m. ET, while undercard action will be shown beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET.
The ESPN App and ESPN+ are available on mobile and TV-connected devices and on ESPN.com. The new ESPN App with ESPN+ are available on devices and platforms including Amazon (Fire TV, Fire Stick, Fire Smart TVs, Fire tablets), Android (Android phones, Android TV), Apple (iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and supported in the Apple TV App), Chromecast and Roku.
Photos: Anthony Causi/ESPN Images