Efe Ajagba-Stephan Shaw wasn’t exactly an entertaining main event Saturday night, but ESPN’s audience grew as their 10-round heavyweight contest continued.

Nielsen Media Research released data Wednesday that indicated the unremarkable bout between Ajagba and Shaw was watched by an average audience of 427,000. Viewership peaked at 455,000 in the later rounds of a fight Ajagba won by unanimous decision at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York.

Nielsen’s numbers include only viewers who watched on ESPN’s linear channel. Viewership totals for ESPN Deportes, which televised the doubleheader that featured Ajagba-Shaw in Spanish, and ESPN+, which streamed the entire nine-fight card, weren’t factored into Nielsen’s report on the Ajagba-Shaw show.

The co-feature of ESPN’s two-bout broadcast, another heavyweight battle between Jonnie Rice and Guido Vianello, attracted an average audience of 330,000. A peak audience of 375,000 tuned in to watch Rice beat Vianello by technical knockout.

Nigeria’s Ajagba beat Shaw by the same score, 96-94, on all three cards. It was the second straight win for the 28-year-old Ajagba (17-1, 13 KOs) since he lost a one-sided, 10-round unanimous decision to Cuban contender Frank Sanchez (21-0, 14 KOs) on the Tyson Fury-Deontay Wilder undercard in October 2021 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

St. Louis’ Shaw (18-1, 13 KOs, 1 NC) won four rounds apiece on each scorecard, but the 30-year-old boxer-puncher wasn’t active enough to beat Ajagba in the highest-profile fight of Shaw’s nine-year professional career.

In the bout before Ajagba beat Shaw, Las Vegas’ Rice stopped Italy’s Vianello in the seventh round due to a gruesome gash above Vianello’s left eye.

Vianello was ahead on all three scorecards – 59-55, 59-55 and 58-56 – entering the seventh round. A ringside doctor determined during that round that Vianello shouldn’t continue because of the nasty laceration Rice’s right hand opened in the sixth round.

The 28-year-old Vianello, a 2016 Olympian, lost for the first time as a pro (10-1-1, 9 KOs). The 35-year-old Rice (16-6-1, 11 KOs) beat an undefeated prospect for the second time in his past three fights.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.