A few notes from around the boxing world:
The numbers just get worse and worse for Premier Boxing Champions. The ratings for this past Saturday night’s card on NBC in prime time sank to PBC’s lowest in prime time. The 2½-hour telecast, which was headlined by a fight that generated zero prefight buzz and was viewed as a mismatch (although unknown Joe Smith scored a first-round knockout of light heavyweight contender Andrzej Fonfara in a major upset), generated just a 0.8 overnight rating, down 20 percent from NBC’s previous PBC telecast in April (1.0) and down 39 percent from the card before that in December (1.3), according to Sports Media Watch. The 0.8 is the lowest for a prime-time PBC card on network television (there have been nine telecasts between NBC and Fox since PBC debuted in March 2015). According to Sports Media Watch, the 0.8 is one of the lowest metered market ratings ever for a sporting event on prime-time network television. Every NBC prime-time PBC telecast has had a worse rating than the one before it, likely due to several poor matchups on paper.
An eventual heavyweight title unification between Deontay Wilder (36-0, 35 KOs) of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and England’s Anthony Joshua (16-0, 16 KOs), both exciting knockout artists, would be just what the doctor ordered for boxing. Expect that possible match to get a little hype on Saturday. That’s because Wilder will join Showtime announcers Barry Tompkins and Steve Farhood for prefight and postfight analysis of Joshua’s first defense against Dominic Breazeale (17-0, 15 KOs) on Saturday at the O2 Arena in London (Showtime, 5:15 p.m. ET with a replay at 11 p.m. ET). The Showtime crew will be in a New York studio while Showtime will simulcast the Sky Sports call.
Junior flyweight titleholder Ganigan Lopez (27-6, 17 KOs) will make his first title defense in his hometown of Mexico City on July 2 against mandatory challenger and fellow southpaw Jonathan Taconing (22-2-1, 18 KOs) of the Philippines. Lopez won the 108-pound belt by majority decision against Yu Kimura in Kyoto, Japan, in March. Taconing has won nine fights in a row since a fifth-round technical-decision loss to Kompayak Porpramook in a junior flyweight title bout in 2012.
Bantamweight titleholder Lee Haskins (33-3, 14 KOs) and former titlist Stuart Hall (20-4-2, 7 KOs), both of England, are due to meet in a mandatory bout. If the sides do not reach agreement, a purse bid is scheduled for June 28 at IBF headquarters in Springfield, New Jersey.