Fury was looking to get back to winning ways having failed in his bid to win Joseph Parker’s world title last September.
The New Zealander went on to lose to Anthony Joshua in Cardiff back in March but Fury bounced back with an emphatic fifth-round knockout of British champion Sexton to claim the Lord Lonsdale belt for the first time.
The action was broadcast live on terrestrial TV station Channel 5 as well as Freeview channel 5Spike and figures released today reveal the ratings peaked at 2.9million viewers.
The numbers come as a surprise given the relatively low-profile nature of the fight: there was no live radio coverage and the bout took place in the Premier Suite of Bolton’s Macron Stadium.
And promoter Mick Hennessy claims the numbers have vindicated his decision to keep the fight on free-to-air television.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to again deliver fantastic ratings on Channel 5 and 5Spike with almost three million viewers tuning in to watch the show on the night,” Hennessy said.
“Hughie produced a tremendous performance that ended with a dramatic stoppage that no doubt had viewers on the edge of their seats.
“This verified my belief that Hughie would be a huge success on free-to-air TV and we’re delighted to have partnered with Channel 5 and Infinitum.”
By way of comparison, Joshua’s pay-per-view showdown with Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley last year, a seminal fight in the champion’s career, sold 1.2million packages.
Fury has already said that he will not defend the British title and has his sights set on returning to a world title fight, hoping that the ratings from Saturday will help him force bigger contests.
And the 23-year-old is more than confident in his ability to mix it at the very top of the heavyweight division.
“I dream to be a world champion. Whoever has got those belts – I’m coming,” Fury said.
“Although I lost [to Parker], I’m coming. I’m ready to fight.”