Despite coming off a huge win over Guillermo Rigondeaux in his last fight, Vasiliy Lomachenko's latest big fight at Madison Square Garden did not produce a similarly high viewership. Even so, the fight was still the most-watched boxing match on cable for 2018.
Lomachenko's knockout win over WBA lightweight champion Jorge Linares, which headlined a Top Rank Boxing on ESPN on May 12, averaged 1.439 million viewers according to Showbuzz Daily. That final viewership is significantly down from Lomachenko's last fight against Rigondeaux, which did 1.73 million viewers. Lomachenko bounced back from a knockdown earlier in the fight to knock out Linares in the 10th round to win the WBA title, his third world title in three weight classes, becoming the fastest man to achieve such a mark. Lomachenko vs. Linares peaked at 1.749 million viewers.
Although the viewership was significantly down from the December 2017 fight, Lomachenko vs. Linares did produce the highest overnight metered rating for a boxing fight on cable in 2018, achieving a 1.0 rating. The fight was also the most-watched event among combat sports events in the U.S. that night, which includes UFC 224 prelims and Bellator 199. The last time a Top Rank Boxing on ESPN card produced a high viewership was the March 10 WBO featherweight title fight between Oscar Valdez and Scott Quigg, which averaged 1.1 million viewers.
The co-main event fight was also a successful bout in the ratings, achieving a 0.7 metered rating, tied for sixth among boxing fights on cable in 2018. The bout saw undefeated prospect Carlos Adames defeat Alejandro Barrera y unanimous decision.
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