Fightful Boxing Newsletter (8/10): McGregor-Malignaggi Drama, Former World Champions Retire, Vasyl Lomachenko's Latest Win

Weekend Recap

One of the biggest future stars in boxing, Vasyl Lomachenko, proved his dominance at the top of the 130-pound division with his latest performance. In terms of ratings, Top Rank experienced the highs of having boxing fights on ESPN with Manny Pacquiao vs. Jeff Horn and now experienced massive lows with the ratings from Lomachenko's most recent fight on August 5.

Lomachenko's recent title defense win over Miguel Marriaga drew about 728,000 viewers on ESPN and ESPN2, which is a little more than 100,000 viewers less than Lomachenko's last fight, which was on HBO.

A big reason why the fight drew such a low rating is because the fight, which was originally scheduled for Saturday, August 5 at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN, started more than 30 minutes late because the Pro football Hall of Fame Ceremony ran way over and forced the beginning of the card to be switched over to ESPN2. Top Rank’s doubleheader eventually switched over to ESPN, which is watched by more viewers than ESPN2, but the Lomachenko vs. Marriaga fight did not start until nearly 12:20 a.m. ET on Sunday.

Lomachenko's last fight prior to the move to ESPN saw the WBO junior lightweight champion defeat Jason Sosa. That fight against Sosa had a peak audience of 886,000 and an average viewership of 832,000 on April 8.

Top Rank's boxing card from Australia, which saw Manny Pacquiao lose to Jeff Horn on ESPN, had a peak of 4.4 million viewers, averaging 3.1 million viewers across the ESPN networks. ESPN's next major boxing card will be the historic junior welterweight unification fight between Terence Crawford and Julius Indongo, where all four major world titles (WBA, WBO, WBC and IBF) will be on the line, on August 19, so that fight will be a much better indication as to whether or not boxing can thrive under ESPN.

Lomachenko vs. Marriaga likely lost hundreds of thousands of viewers due to the extremely late start and channel change which turned off viewers. The fight wasn't going to be beat Pacquiao's fight numbers, but this was a significant step down. It also didn't help Lomachenko and Top Rank's hopes for a high rating because fans knew Marriaga will not pose a significant challenge to Lomachenko.

Purses on the contracts per the California State Athletic Commission for ESPN card are the following: Vasyl Lomachenko receives $750,000, Miguel Marriaga gets $50,000, Raymundo Beltran gets $100,000 and Bryan Vasquez gets $10,000.

Vasyl Lomachenko defeats Miguel Marriaga, TKO, Round 7: This fight pretty much went exactly as almost everyone thought this fight would go. Lomachenko was on a completely different level than Marriaga and no one seriously gave Marriaga a chance to even make this a competitive fight. But that is not to say Lomachenko had fought flawlessly. Marriaga landed some good punches in around the third round and Lomachenko was even cut early in the fight, but it did not deter Lomachenko from what is unquestionably one of the more dominant performances of 2017. Lomachenko looks primed to return to ESPN in December, but his opponent could in fact be Guillermo Rigondeaux, who has been in a war against Lomachenko on social media and Rigondeaux is desperate to fight the junior lightweight champion.

Raymundo Beltran defeats Bryan Vasquez, MD (96-94, 96-94, 95-95): Beltran lands a great win on ESPN, putting him one step closer to get a green card and become a permanent citizen in the United States. It's a great story for Beltran, who looked great in this fight and actually dominated the fight more than what the scorecards seem to indicate. Beltran also had to deal with Vasquez, who was a little more than a pound over the 135-pound lightweight limit. Beltran now looks to potentially challenge for a world title next year, perhaps the WBO title since he is the highest rated available boxer after Felix Verdejo, the mandatory challenger, and Terry Flanagan, the champion, finally get to fight, whenever that date would be.

Showtime Boxing main event from August 4:

Claressa Shields defeats Nikki Adler, TKO, Round 5: Shields has officially become a women’s boxing superstar with this win. In just four fights, Shields is now the unified super middleweight champion. Shields looked like a seasoned veteran while Adler didn't even make a dent on Shields, which is kind of ironic since Adler was the champion heading into this fight and Shields hasn't been fighting at the professional level for even a year. It's a great win for Shields, who is now one of the faces of the sport, but the fight does present a clear problem: the extreme lack of depth at Shields' weight class. While not taking away from Shields' victory, it's hard to imagine anybody challenging Shields anytime soon, but that could be a blessing in disguise. After all, Ronda Rousey was in a similar boat in the UFC and has become a transcendent star due to her dominance.

The rest of the results from the ESPN and Showtime cards will be in the “results from the world of boxing” section in the next page.

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