Claressa Shields versus Savannah Marshall was the most-watched women’s professional boxing event in history.
More than two million viewers tuned into the historic all-women boxing card making it the biggest audience for a live women’s sport event ever on Sky.
Shields beat Marshall to become the undisputed middleweight world champion in one of the best fights of the year so far. The bout headlined an iconic show presented by Sky Sports and promoter BOXXER which was the first-ever all-female boxing event televised in the UK and Ireland.
A peak audience of over one million watched as Shields secured a unanimous decision victory to unify all four of the major middleweight titles and cap off a historic night.
The Mikaela Mayer vs Alycia Baumgardner world title fight and, some of the UK’s most exciting young boxers, including Olympic gold medallist Lauren Price, Olympic bronze medallist Karriss Artingstall and Tokyo Olympian Caroline Dubois, featured on the show.
Live coverage of the event reached over two million viewers, with millions more watching the build-up and action across Sky Sports Boxing YouTube and Sky Sports TikTok live streams.
More than six million viewed Shields vs Marshall video clips across Sky Sports’ digital and social platforms during the week of the fight.
In addition to those watching on TV and online, a sell-out crowd filled The O2 Arena, demonstrating the growth in women’s sport. Of the tickets bought, 35 per cent were by women, well over the usual amount, and almost 40 per cent of those that watched at home were women – well above the normal average for a fight night on Sky Sports.
Jonathan Licht, Sky Sports’ managing director, said, “What an amazing night! This was a pivotal moment not just for women’s boxing but the sport as a whole. To know that such a large audience tuned in at home to see these fights – in addition to a sell-out crowd at The O2 – shows the interest and potential for the sport.
“At Sky Sports, we have been working for years to give our elite female fighters the stage they deserve, and this is only the beginning.
“Congratulations to all the fighters that took to the ring on Saturday – you made history. It is one year since we entered into our partnership with BOXXER and Top Rank and we are delighted that we have seen some of the most watched nights in our history.”
BOXXER promoter Ben Shalom said: “It was a historic event. We staged something many thought wasn’t possible and it will go down in the history books. We hope it has set the stage for what is to come. Thank you to Sky for their unwavering support for women’s sport and boxing. From a standing start, in just 12 months our partnership has achieved so much already and Saturday night culminated in a record-breaking event. I’d also like to thank Top Rank for delivering a fantastic chief-support in Mikaela Mayer versus Alycia Baumgardner.
“We want BOXXER to be a force for good within boxing and have a positive impact on redefining the sport for its long-term health and success as our fighters and events inspire future generations. For women’s sport, this was truly iconic and we want to thank everyone involved and, of course, the fighters. We can now look forward to an extremely bright future and carry such positive momentum into the rest of the year with some huge fight nights ahead.”
To make the event available more widely and open the sport up to a new audience, Sky Sports’ coverage was simulcast on Sky Showcase, meaning households without a Sky Sports subscription could also watch. Sky Sports YouTube streamed action from the undercard fights, including Mayer vs Baumgardner.
On Saturday Sky also launched its new interactive Viewers’ Verdict feature on the Sky Sports App. The innovative second-screen experience, which saw 45,000 fans take part, allowed users to score cards and take part in polls on the night.
Sky Sports is the UK’s leading investor in women’s sport with partnerships across sports including boxing, football, cricket, golf, netball and motorsport. So far in 2022, Sky Sports has broadcast over 1,000 hours of live women’s sport.
The next British fight night on Sky Sports will be headlined by Natasha Jonas’ world title unification clash with Marie-Eve Dicaire in Manchester on November 12.
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