Once upon a time, the heavyweight division was the most must-see weight class in American boxing. Deontay Wilder's latest world heavyweight title defense just drew Showtime's best boxing audience in years.
According to Showbuzz Daily, The March 3 Showtime Championship Boxing card from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, where Wilder knocked out Luis Ortiz to retain the WBC heavyweight title, drew an average viewership of 1.055 million viewers for the main event. The fight was also the seventh-highest rated cable television program for the night.
That average viewership is the highest for a Showtime-televised boxing fight since Wilder won the WBC title off of Bermane Stiverne in 2015, when that fight average 1.2 million and peaked at 1.3 million viewers.
Wilder vs. Ortiz more than doubled Showtime's average viewership from its last broadcast, Danny Garcia vs. Brandon Rios. The main event of the February 17 Showtime card averaged 516,000 viewers, peaking at 558,000 viewers, which is much lower than the January 20 Showtime main event, Errol Spence Jr. vs. Lamont Peterson. Spence vs. Peterson average 637,000 viewers, peaking at 695,000.
The only other fight on that March 3 card was Jose Uzcategui vs. Andre Dirrell for the interim IBF super middleweight championship. Uzcategui's ninth-round TKO win over Dirrell averaged 673,000 viewers, peaking at 807,000.
Showtime's next boxing card will take place on March 10 in San Antonio, Texas, where WBC lightweight champion Mikey Garcia will challenge for Sergey Lipinets' IBF junior welterweight title. FIghtful will have live, complete coverage of that fight, as well as the rest of the undercard.