Saturday’s HBO Boxing After Dark presentation of Brandon Rios vs. Mike Alvarado II was a success on every level, exceeding expectations in the ring and in viewership performance. The March 30th main event telecast delivered 1.2 million viewers, a dramatic 45% increase in viewership from the first Rios vs. Alvarado encounter last October.
The HBO2 service will air a replay of the March 30th Boxing After Dark doubleheader headlined by the thrilling Rios vs. Alvarado II showdown tonight (April 2) at 11:00 p.m. ET/PT.
A quarter of the way thru the season, HBO’s five live boxing telecasts in 2013 are the most watched boxing events on any network this year.
The superb run on HBO includes the March 16th Bradley vs. Provodnikov welterweight title bout in Carson, CA that overdelivered and had the boxing world buzzing. ESPN.com called the fight an “Epic Battle.”
Then on March 30th in Las Vegas, Rios vs. Alvarado II may well have supplanted Bradley vs. Provodnikov as the leading “Fight of the Year” candidate. Yahoo Sports.com wrote, “Mike Alvarado and Brandon Rios engaged in yet another epic match, filled with passion, fury and plenty of clean right hands.” Grantland.com noted of an outcome that many did not see coming, “Alvarado elevated a bloodbath into a highly competitive, brutal, yet completely stirring spectacle of heart and skill.” Maxboxing.com stated that the fight was “a rematch that had such high expectations coming into it not only delivered but perhaps surpassed them. You could say it was the best sequel since ‘The Empire Strikes Back.’ “
In addition, there were stirring performances on HBO this year by emerging stars Gennady Golovkin and Mikey Garcia on Jan. 19th in New York City plus a remarkable performance by Bernard Hopkins at the age of 48 on March 9th in Brooklyn. All on boxing’s biggest television platform, HBO.
And the run continues on Saturday, April 13th, when HBO World Championship Boxing televises the title unification bout between Nonito Donaire (the BWAA’s 2012 Fighter of the Year) and Guillermo Rigondeaux at New York’s famed Radio City Music Hall (11:00 p.m. ET/PT).
Who will win? Wladimir Klitschko or Tyson Fury?