The low-profile fights FOX aired Saturday night drew comparable viewership to the network’s previous boxing broadcasts during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nielsen Media Research statistics released Wednesday indicated that the four-fight telecast drew an average of 920,000 viewers. The telecast attracted a peak viewership of 1,027,000 during the main event – super middleweight David Morrell Jr.’s third-round technical knockout of overmatched Mike Gavronski at Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall in Los Angeles.
Morrell (4-0, 3 KOs) dropped Gavronski (26-4-1, 16 KOs) in the first round and spent two-plus rounds battering Gavronski before referee Jack Reiss wisely stopped the assault, with Gavronski still on his feet. Morrell, a fast-developing southpaw from Cuba, and Gavronski each took their scheduled 10-round light heavyweight fight on short notice.
The prior “FOX PBC Fight Night” drew a peak audience of 1,312,000 and an average viewership of 982,000. That November 7 show featured heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz, who knocked out another huge underdog, Alexander Flores, in the first round of their main event at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
Since August 8, FOX’s six boxing broadcasts during the pandemic have drawn peak audiences of at least 1,027,000 and average audiences of at least 810,000. Including three pre-pandemic shows – one apiece in January, February and March – FOX’s nine boxing telecasts in 2020 averaged 1,100,000 viewers.
Saturday’s broadcast also included Juan Macias Montiel’s surprising first-round stoppage of James Kirkland. Mexico’s Montiel (22-4-2, 22 KOs) knocked Kirkland to the canvas three times, which prompted referee Jerry Cantu to stop their scheduled 10-round super middleweight match just 1:56 into it.
The 36-year-old Kirkland (34-3, 30 KOs) was trying to rebuild himself into a contender, but he had boxed just twice before Saturday night since Canelo Alvarez knocked out the Austin, Texas, native in the third round of their May 2015 bout at Minute Maid Park in Houston.
In other televised action Saturday night, junior welterweight prospect Jesus Ramos (14-0, 13 KOs) floored Naim Nelson (14-5, 1 KO, 1 NC) once apiece in the third and fourth rounds on his way to a TKO win following the fourth round and Travon Lawson (4-0, 3 KOs) upset junior featherweight prospect Angel Barrientes (3-1, 2 KOs) by fourth-round knockout.
The three-fight FS1 portion of the undercard attracted an average of 196,000 viewers. FS1’s undercard coverage drew much higher viewership than the FS1 undercard telecast at a comparable time last December (108,000).
Super middleweight veteran Alantez Fox (27-2-1, 12 KOs, 1 NC) overcame a cut and out-pointed Mark Anthony Hernandez (14-4-1, 3 KOs) unanimously in a 10-rounder, the last of three fights FS1 aired Saturday night.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.