Teofimo Lopez’s second junior welterweight fight drew slightly higher viewership on ESPN than his 140-pound debut four months ago.
Nielsen Media Research revealed data Tuesday that indicated an average of 951,000 viewers watched Lopez defeat Sandor Martin by split decision in a 10-round main event Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York. ESPN’s peak audience for the Lopez-Martin match was 972,000.
Lopez’s previous fight on ESPN, a seventh-round stoppage of Pedro Campa on August 13, was watched by an average audience of 890,000 and drew a peak audience of 913,000.
ESPN’s entire four-bout broadcast Saturday night, which lasted 3 hours and 8 minutes, attracted an average of 840,000 viewers. Nielsen’s numbers include only those that watched on ESPN’s linear channel, not those that viewed any of the four fights on ESPN Deportes or via ESPN+, the network’s streaming service.
Nielsen doesn’t track viewership for ESPN+. ESPN doesn’t release viewership figures for ESPN+, either.
The Brooklyn-born Lopez (18-1, 13 KOs) out-pointed Spain’s Martin (40-3, 13 KOs) on two scorecards in what appeared to be a very competitive fight.
Quebec-based judge Pasquale Procopio strangely scored eight of the 10 rounds for Lopez, who won 97-92 on his scorecard. California’s Max De Luca scored seven rounds for Lopez (96-93), who was knocked down early in the second round.
Italy’s Guido Cavalleri scored their fight 95-94 for Martin, who claimed he was “robbed” and questioned why referee Ricky Gonzalez didn’t score a second knockdown for him early in the seventh round.
The bout before Lopez’s narrow win, hard-hitting heavyweight Jared Anderson’s second-round stoppage of Jerry Forrest, drew an average of 825,000 viewers. Anderson (13-0, 13 KOs), of Toledo, Ohio, became the first opponent to defeat Forrest inside the distance since Gerald Washington knocked out Forrest (26-6-2, 20 KOs), of Newport News, Virginia, in the second round of their August 2013 bout in Indio, California.
An average of 821,000 viewers watched the bout ESPN aired prior to Anderson’s victory, Xander Zayas’ eight-round unanimous points win against Alexis Salazar. Puerto Rico’s Zayas (15-0, 10 KOs), a 20-year-old junior middleweight contender, beat Salazar (24-5, 9 KOs), of Norwalk, California, comfortably on all three scorecards (80-72, 79-73 and 79-73).
The opener of ESPN’s telecast, unbeaten lightweight Keyshawn Davis’ eight-round shutout of Juan Carlos Burgos, attracted an average of 745,000 viewers. Davis (7-0, 5 KOs), a 2021 Olympic silver medalist from Norfolk, Virginia, beat Burgos (35-7-3, 21 KOs), a three-time world championship challenger from Tijuana, by the same score, 80-72, according to each of the three judges.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.
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