Viewers were interested in watching Caleb Plant fight Saturday night, even though he was a huge favorite over mandatory challenger Caleb Truax.
According to Nielsen Media Research numbers released Tuesday, an average of 1,887,000 viewers watched Plant convincingly out-box Truax in the main event of FOX’s tripleheader from Los Angeles. A peak audience of 2,019,000 tuned in toward the end of Plant’s dominant, 12-round win at Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall.
The viewership of Plant-Truax was the highest for a “FOX PBC Fight Night” telecast since December 2019. The main event that night – Jermell Charlo’s 11th-round knockout of Tony Harrison in their WBC 154-pound championship rematch – drew a peak audience of 2,233,000 and an average audience of 2,223,000.
Plant-Truax was the most-watched boxing match televised by FOX during the pandemic as well.
FOX’s entire three-bout broadcast attracted an average viewership of 1,608,000. That also marked the network’s highest average audience since it brought boxing back to its airwaves August 8, following a five-month hiatus due to COVID-19.
Plant’s previous appearance on FOX – a 10th-round stoppage of another mandatory challenger, Germany’s Vincent Feigenbutz (32-3, 28 KOs) – attracted a peak audience of 1,809,000 last February 15 from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. That entire three-fight show drew an average audience of 1,528,000.
The 28-year-old Plant (21-0, 12 KOs), of Ashland City, Tennessee, won every round on the scorecards of all three judges Saturday night (120-108, 120-108, 120-108). He entered their bout as at least a 50-1 favorite versus Truax (31-5-2, 19 KOs, 1 NC), a former IBF super middleweight champ from St. Michael, Minnesota.
In the co-feature Saturday night, Brooklyn-based heavyweight prospect Michael Coffie (12-0, 9 KOs) knocked down Philadelphia’s Darmani Rock (17-1, 12 KOs) twice in the third round, when their scheduled 10-rounder was stopped.
Joey Spencer (12-0, 9 KOs), a junior middleweight prospect from Linden, Michigan, knocked out Isiah Seldon (14-4-1, 5 KOs) in the first round of the fight that opened FOX’s telecast. Spencer dropped Seldon, of Somers Point, New Jersey, twice in the first round.
Three preliminary fights FOX televised earlier Saturday night drew an average viewership of 871,000 and a peak viewership of 1,221,000.
That thee-bout show was considered a separate telecast, though it immediately preceded the “FOX PBC Fight Night” tripleheader on the same network. PBC prelims usually air on FS1, FOX’s all-sports cable channel, on nights when FOX broadcasts boxing.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.