The numbers are in for the Saturday HBO boxing broadcast. Undercard bouts that looked better on paper didn’t play out that strongly, so that could have impacted the turnout for the main event, which pitted the patient predator Sergey Kovalev against the slightly unorthodox Jean Pascal in a light heavyweight tangle. The mainer made up for the cruddy support bouts, in my mind.
Nielsen reported an average viewership of 1,152,000 for the live main event at La Bell in Montreal.
The 31-year-old Kovalev debuted on HBO in August of 2013; now 27-0-1 with 24 KOs, he has now fought six times on the network in a 19-month span. The Kovalev-Pascal fight peaked at 1,200,000 viewers, per Nielsen.
The entire broadcast averaged 956,000 viewers on HBO. Issaac Chilemba vs. Vasily Lepikhin attracted 850,000 viewers (peaking at 968,000), with Lepikhin drawing the ire of his father/trainer for non-performance. The co-feature of Vyacheslav Glazkov vs. Steve Cunningham had 958,000 viewers (peaking at 1,057,000). Cunningham got screwed by the judges in a performance that was not in his top ten, career-wise, in my opinion. The winner of that bout is supposed to get a crack at the IBF champion, who is currently Wladimir Klitschko. Both men are promoted by Main Events.
A new edition of HBO’s The Fight Game with Jim Lampley recaps the main event, and delves into other news and opinion, with Max Kellerman, and Michelle Beadle, tonight at 11:00 p.m. (ET/PT)
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