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Jacobs-Quillin averages only 386K viewers on Showtime

Daniel Jacobs Peter QuillinBy Dan Ambrose: Last Saturday night’s card between WBA “regular’ middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs (31-1, 28 KOs) and Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin (32-1-1, 23 KOs) brought in really low viewing numbers on Showtime Championship Boxing from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. According to Dan Rafael, the Jacobs-Quillin fight averaged a pitiful 386,000 viewers with a peak of 408,000 viewers on Showtime.

The fight ended in a 1st round knockout with Jacobs blasting Quillin out, but the viewing numbers still should have been better than that if there was any fan interest in the middleweight contest.

The co-feature bout between WBA “regular” featherweight champion Jesus Andres Cuellar and Jonathan Oquendo did even worse numbers with it averaging just 221,000 viewers with a high of 279,000 viewers.

“Per Nielsen, Sat’s Showtime telecast averaged only 248k viewers. Jacobs-Quillin avaged 386k (408k peak). But only 85-second fight. Cuellar-Oquendo co-feature on Showtime averaged only 221k viewers (peaked at 279k). Expensive card for very little return unfortunately,” Rafael said on his Twitter.

In hindsight, this all was predictable, because Jacobs and Quillin are not huge stars by any means. Jacobs is considered by the knowledgeable hardcore boxing fans to be the junior WBA champion to the serior champion Gennady Golovkin.

When you’re seen as the junior/paper champion by boxing fans, you’re not going to bring in big ratings numbers unless you fight a star like Golovkin, Miguel Cotto, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez or Sergey Kovalev. Showtime should have realized that there was no way that a Quillin vs. Jacobs fight would ever bring in big ratings numbers because Quillin isn’t a big enough star to make up for the fact that Jacobs isn’t seen as the top champion in the middleweight division.

Quillin is a guy that has wasted a lot of time in his career fighting fighters like Gabriel Rosado, Michael Zerafa, Lukas Konecny and Fernando Guerrero. Plus, he recently sat out a year from the sport after vacating his WBO title rather than fighting his #1 WBO mandatory challenger Matt Karobov.

When Quillin did come back after a year out of the ring, he failed to make weight for his fight against Andy Lee and wound up fighting to a 12 round draw against him. Showtime should have seen the Jacobs-Quillin fight and told the promoters that they needed to beef up the undercard in order for them to televise it, because the main event between Jacobs and Quillin was dead weight.

The undercard between WBA “regular” featherweight champion Jesus Andres Cuellar and Jonathan Oquendo was a similar type of fight as the main event. Cuellar is seen as the junior WBA featherweight champion by hardcore boxing fans. The senior or real WBA featherweight champion is Leo Santa Cruz, and he’s the guy the boxing fans see as the legitimate champ.

Having Cuellar fight little known Oquendo in the co-feature bout was just asking for trouble, because Cuellar isn’t a star or even someone that boxing fans as a whole are interested in seeing in the U.S as the A-side, in my view, especially not against someone like Oquendo.

I think the fans wouldn’t have minded having Cuellar in the co-feature bout if he was matched against the likes of Nicholas Walters, Vasyl Lomachenko, Abner Mares, Santa Cruz or Gary Russell Jr., because those fighters are well thought of and well-known, at least with the hardcore boxing fans. The casual boxing fans wouldn’t have likely shown any interest in Cuellar against any of those fighters, because I don’t think they know who those guys are either.

If Showtime wants to increase their ratings for future fight cards involving Cuellar and Jacobs, then they’re going to need to insist on the promoters only match those fighters up against high grade fighters like Golovkin, Cotto or Canelo for Jacobs. As for Cuellar, he’ll need to be matched against the above mentioned fighters Russell Jr., Santa Cruz, Lomachenko or Mares. Cuellar isn’t a big enough name to attract viewers if he’s going to be the A-side fighter.

Showtime obviously doesn’t want to go into the promotional business, but they need to be the watchdogs for the kinds of fights that go on their networks. If they want big ratings, then they need to tell the promoters that fights like Jacobs-Quillin won’t fly unless they load up the undercard with pure stars. If not, then there’s no way a second fight like that should happen, because it’s too much of a fan repellant. I know I wasn’t excited at all about the Jacobs vs. Quillin fight beforehand, and I’m a hardcore boxing fan.

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