Although Artur Beterbiev's light heavyweight title unification didn't break viewership records for an ESPN boxing telecast, it did give the network the highest boxing viewership in months.
The October 18 Top Rank on ESPN card, headlined by the IBF and WBC light heavyweight title unification between Beterbiev and Oleksandr Gvozdyk, averaged 635,000 viewers and a 0.20 rating in the 18-49 demographic, good for 16th best on cable for the day. The last time Gvozdyk headlined an ESPN card was back in March when he defeated Doudou Ngumbu with that telecast averaging 655,000 viewers.
The viewership numbers are the highest for Top Rank on ESPN telecast since the June 8 card when Oscar Valdez's WBO featherweight title defense against Jason Sanchez averaged 799,000 viewers. The October 18 card drew the seventh-highest viewership for a Top Rank card this year.
The main event bout saw Beterbiev stop Gvozdyk in the 10th round after an exciting back-and-forth affair, becoming the first unified champion at 175 pounds since Andre Ward when he won the WBA, WBO and IBF light heavyweight titles by beating Sergey Kovalev in 2016.
The co-main event, which aired on ESPNews before moving to ESPN midway through the bout, saw Kudratillo Abdukakhorov win a technical decision against Luis Collazo after the action was stopped in the 10th round. With Collazon unable to continue fighting due to multiple cuts.
ESPN's next Top Tank on card that will be televised will be the November 2 card headlined by the WBC super featherweight title bout between Miguel Berchelt and Jason Sosa. That card is on the same night DAZN streams Canelo Alvarez vs. Sergey Kovalev and FS1 televises Brian Castano vs. Wale Omotoso.