Despite the disappointment that was the in-ring action between Vasyl Lomachenko and Guillermo Rigondeaux, their ESPN main event was a ratings success for the network.
According to Showbuzz Daily, the fight averaged 1.73 million viewers, making it the second-most watched boxing fight on cable in 2017, behind the Manny Pacquiao vs. Jeff Horn fight, which was also shown on ESPN.
Both of those fights were a part of Top Rank Boxing's new partnership with ESPN. Top Rank's roster of world-class boxers, including Lomachenko, Pacquiao and Terence Crawford have brought world championship boxing back to ESPN. As a result, ESPN has some of the highest-viewed boxing fights on television in all of 2017. In terms of overall television, it was the fourth-highest viewed boxing fight on television. The other boxing events to have garnered higher viewership on television were the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor prelim card on FOX and the Keith Thurman vs. Danny Garcia fight card from the Barclays Center on CBS.
The December 9 ESPN fight card benefited greatly from going on immediately after college football's Heisman Trophy ceremony as well as no college football games taking place at that time. The four-fight card from The Theater at Madison Square Garden also featured Olympic boxers Shakur Stevenson and Michael Conlan, both of whom picked up wins in their respective fights.
Lomachenko made quick work of Rigondeaux, dismantling him throughout the course of six rounds. Rigondeaux chose to stop fighting after the sixth round, giving Lomachenko his fourth straight successful WBO super featherweight title defense.