Terence Crawford vs. Jose Benavidez Jr. Is Highest-Rated Boxing Fight On Cable For 2018

Terence Crawford's latest fight proved to be a massive success on virtually every front imaginable.

The October 13 Top Rank on ESPN card headlined by Crawford's WBO welterweight title defense against Jose Benavidez Jr. averaged 2.245 million viewers, and a 1.6 metered market rating, both yearly highs for a boxing card on ESPN. 

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The viewership was significantly higher than any other boxing event ESPN has shown since the network and Top Rank, the company that promotes Crawford, signed a long-term broadcast deal. The last time ESPN had viewership this high for a boxing fight was last year, when Manny Pacquiao's upset loss to Jeff Horn. That 2017 fight averaged 2.812 million viewers and also had a 1.6 rating. Pacquiao vs. Horn also averaged 3.1 million viewers across all ESPN platforms.

As for the fight itself, Crawford knocked down Benavidez late in the 12th round and then later stopping him in the final seconds of the fight. It was Crawford's first title defense since winning the belt from Jeff Horn earlier this summer. The fight, which took place at the CHI Health Center in Omaha, Nebraska, drew in a sellout crowd of 13,323.

ESPN's next televised Top Rank card will take place on November 16 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. In the main event, Maurice Hooker will defend his WBO junior welterweight title against mandatory challenger Alex Saucedo. Beyond that, the network also has a December 8 telecast from Madison Square Garden featuring Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Jose Pedraza in a WBA and WBO lightweight unification bout.

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