The third edition of Premier Boxing Champions on ESPN headlined by Leo Santa Cruz vs. Abner Mares on Saturday, Aug. 29, delivered the largest boxing audience on ESPN since February 1998.
Santa Cruz scored majority decision win over Abner Mares, in an action-packed bout in which over 2,000 combined punches were thrown. The Santa Cruz vs. Mares ratings are ESPN’s highest since a Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson fight, against Arthur Johnson, on February 22, 1998.
The telecast was seen by an average of 1,217,000 viewers (P2+)—up 30 percent from the average of the previous two PBC telecasts on ESPN. The telecast peaked as the fight closed, from 12:00-12:15am, with 1,641,000 viewers (P2+) according to Nielsen.
It was also the highest-rated and most-watched boxing telecast to ever air on ESPN Deportes. There, the telecast peaked from 11:15-11:30 p.m. with 453,000 viewers. ESPN Classic will reair the fight tonight at 7 p.m. ET as an Instant Classic. In addition, ESPN Deportes will re-air the entire card on Saturday, September 5, at 7 p.m.