Claressa Shields vs Savannah Marshall recorded the highest total viewership in women’s boxing history on October 15th with over two million viewers to watch the long-awaited grudge match. The all-female card was Sky Sports’ second most-watched boxing show since 2014 – beaten only by Chris Eubank Jr and Liam Williams in February.
These statistics show the unprecedented growth of women’s boxing, which has grown in popularity in the past two years. Since entering the Olympics in 2012, the game has gained a lot of popularity.
Big names like Katie Taylor, Amanda Serrano, and Claressa Shields paved the way for generations to come and now women’s pugilism is in a position where it can match the male alternative in many areas.
Shields and Marshall have made a big step in this department. The fight headlined a spectacular show presented by Sky Sports and promoter BOXXER which was the first time women’s boxing was shown in England.
Speaking about the success of the card and its importance to boxing as a whole, Sky Sports Boxing boss Adam Smith said: “This is a fantastic, important event. It’s been a watershed moment for boxing and an amazing one for the women’s sport that has come to the fore in the last couple of years.
“It’s something we’ve been working on behind the scenes at Sky Sports Boxing for the last couple of years. Katie Taylor and Savannah Marshall have been instructors with us and obviously the 2012 Olympics that allowed women to compete for the first time. to acknowledge Katie, Claressa Shields, and Nicola Adam who was there on Saturday night.
“You have Katie Taylor as a pioneer and she became a professional with us and this amazing fight with Amanda Serrano. You add the fight between Terri Harper and Natasha Jonas in the Matchroom Garden, you have Savannah and Claressa from the other night. These are some of the best fights that have happened in the last couple of years – male or female.
“We’ve known this for a long time, and I think it’s great that Sky, O2, and BOXXER have supported the vision of an all-female card. Almost every fighter has exceeded expectations, they want to write their place in the history books and capitalize on this huge potential audience by making it available on Sky Sports instead of Box Office.”
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He continued: “He was great. Not only is it the biggest spectacle in women’s boxing history on any channel, but it’s also the biggest we’ve had on Sky of any women’s event in any sport. “A very impressive number is that it’s the second highest boxing attendance for us since 2014, only beaten by Eubank and Williams in Cardiff.”
When talking about the reasons behind the increase in popularity of women’s boxing, Smith added: “There are some things, women tend to take on more challenges than men in the beginning. And then you have the likes of Katie Taylor who have really brought the game – I think her story from playing Kay Taylor as a kid to carrying the flag for women’s boxing is huge.
“For me and Johnny Nelson, we see the fight with Natasha Jonas for us because the conditions are among the best we’ve had and when I saw that I felt that there was a real possibility.”
Smith also believes that one day female boxers will fill the stadiums headlined by their pay match after the Shields vs Marshall victory. In a recent interview, he also said: “What I saw on Saturday were children who would think they could achieve their dreams. This is the beginning. Forget packing scenes, we’re talking about stage performances. I am so confident about this.”