Errol Spence Jr. vs. Carlos Ocampo averaged 683,000 viewers on Showtime
By Allan Fox: IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr.’s first round knockout win last Saturday night against IBF mandatory challenger Carlos Ocampo (22-1, 13 KOs) pulled in 683,000 viewers with a peak of 726,000 viwers on Showtime from the Ford Center in Frisco, Texas. This was the third best boxing event on Showtime in 2018, behind WBC heavyweight champion Deontay ‘Bronze Bomber’ Wilder’s last fight against Luis ‘King Kong’ Ortiz last March and the Jessie Vargas vs. Adrien ‘The Problem’ Broner.
Wilder, 32, brings in bigger ratings than Spence, but he’s also four years older. Spence needs to take WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford’s scalp to take his popularity to the next level. Crawford’s promoters at Top Rank aren’t going to let him fight Spence yet, and they may not let him take the fight at all if they doubt whether he can beat him. Top Rank doesn’t make fights when they believe their fighters have a good chance of losing. It took them six years before they finally setup a fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. If Spence continues to look good, he may need to wait just as long for him to get a fight against Crawford.
The 683K viewers for the Spence vs. Ocampo fight may not be huge when compared to some of the bigger fights between guys like Saul Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin, but Errol hasn’t emerged as that type of star yet. It takes time to become a star in boxing; Spence hasn’t been a pro long enough to get to the level Canelo and GGG are at.
Spence’s inactivity has also hurt him in the last couple of years. He has to wait eight months after his win over Leonard Bundu before he could face IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook, because he was coming off of an eye injury from his fight against Gennady Golovkin in September 2016. After Spence defeated Brook in May 2017, his management didn’t schedule a fight for him until eight months later. That’s two eight month periods in which Spence didn’t fight. Spence will eventually bring in the big ratings. Once Spence goes over 1 million viewers per fight, he’ll be heading towards PPV. But for him to do that, he’s going to need to be more active and he’ll need to face better opposition than Ocampo, Algieri and Peterson.
Those fighters aren’t the type of opponents that will bring in big ratings for Spence. He needs Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter, Terence Crawford and Keith Thurman. However, getting them to agree to a fight against someone like Spence will be like pulling teeth. Spence needs to be a big star before he can get the other top names to want to agree to fight him. But for him to become a star, he needs to be able to fight those types of guys. Spence is in a bind. For him to increase his popularity in a hurry, he needs to be flexible by facing junior middleweights and middleweights. Fighters from those weight classes would be less reluctant about fighting Spence.
Spence did well with the ratings he brought in last Saturday considering that his opponent was an unknown in 22-year-old Ocampo. Spence was never going to bring in big ratings fighting an obscure fighter like Ocampo. Spence had no choice but to face Ocampo because he was picked out by the International Boxing Federation to for him to fight. If Spence and his management had a choice, they would have selected a bigger name than Ocampo. Spence has fought only three names in his career in Chris Algieri, Kell Brook and Lamont Peterson. Spence did well in being able to draw 683,000 viewers. Spence is still a newcomer to the welterweight division. He’s behind guys like Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman and Terence Crawford in turning pro after them.
In the co-feature bout last Saturday, WBA super bantamweight champion Danny Roman’s 12 round unanimous decision win over #1 WBA Moises Flores averaged 478,000 viewers with a peak of 547,000
viewers. Also on the card, light welterweight Adrian Granados’ fight against Javier Fortuna averaged 396,000 viewers with a peak of 441,000. The fight ended in a 4th round no decision after Fortuna sailed out of the ring in the 4th, causing the fight to be halted.