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Donaire Does Bangup Numbers on HBO – I have noticed that our traffic at TSS has been picking up in the Philippines when we write about Nonito Donaire. I am not sure if there has been any dropoff in Manny Pacquiao traffic, I’d have to delve deeper into that…But I’m feeling like Pinoys are readying themselves for a transfer of the baton from Pacman to Nonito.

Looks like the numbers-on-TV are indicating something along those lines as well…The numbers birdie tells me that Donaire drew slightly more than 1.3 million viewers to the live prime-time airing of his fight vs. Jorge Arce on Saturday night, a 61% improvement over his last HBO fight (835,000 viewers for his Oct. 13 fight vs. Toshiaki Nishioka in Carson, CA).

Donaire’s audience Saturday on HBO out-performed the Showtime Khan vs. Molina main event (616,000 viewers) by 119%, by the birdies’ computation. HBO more than doubled Showtime’s boxing audience Saturday night, helped by the fact that Arce is a more recognized figure among the more casual-to-semi hardcore boxing fan this is Nishioka, and Khan foe Carlos Molina.

Meanwhile, the replay of Pacquiao-Marquez 4 on HBO Saturday night delivered 1.3 million viewers, which is darned healthy mass of watchers, considering people already knew who would win. And dare I speculate that a batch of watchers tuned in to bid adieu, and covertly wipe a teardrop from their eye, to our man Larry Merchant, the oft poetic, intermittently combustible ex keyboard tapper turned expert analyst who is moving on to hammer out another chapter of life after 35 years in the “A” analyst chair at HBO.

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