By Keith Idec
HBO’s broadcast of the Miguel Berchelt-Takashi Miura main event Saturday night peaked at 729,000 viewers, according to ratings released Tuesday morning by Nielsen Media Research.
Their 12-round, 130-pound title fight, which Berchelt won convincingly, drew an average viewership of 683,000. The overall viewership represented an increase from Berchelt’s HBO debut on January 28.
Berchelt battered and bloodied fellow Mexican and then-champion Francisco Vargas (23-1-2, 17 KOs) on his way to an 11th-round knockout that night in Indio, California.
That bout peaked at 549,000 viewers and averaged 497,000, but viewership was impacted because it aired head-to-head with a Showtime card that featured the Leo Santa Cruz-Carl Frampton featherweight championship rematch (peak: 643,000; average: 587,000).
HBO televised two fights before Berchelt (32-1, 28 KOs), the WBC super featherweight champion, floored Japan’s Miura (31-4-2, 24 KOs) in the first round and won a unanimous decision as part of a “Boxing After Dark” tripleheader from The Forum in Inglewood, California.
The first of those three fights, Sullivan Barrera’s impressive victory over Joe Smith Jr., attracted a peak viewership of 719,000 and an average of 617,000 viewers. The Cuban-born Barrera (20-1, 14 KOs) survived a first-round knockdown, fractured the jaw of Long Island’s Smith (23-2, 19 KOs) early in the second round and comfortably won a 10-round unanimous decision.
The second bout of the tripleheader, Jezreel Corrales’ technical-decision defeat of Robinson Castellanos in a 130-pound championship match, peaked at 694,000 viewers and averaged 629,000 viewers.
Panama’s Corrales (22-1, 8 KOs, 1 NC) overcame two fourth-round knockdowns to conquer Castellanos (24-13, 12 KOs) on two of the three scorecards (96-92, 94-93, 94-94). Their scheduled 12-round fight for Corrales’ WBA world super featherweight title was stopped 31 seconds into the 10th round because Mexico’s Castellanos, who was knocked down during the seventh round, had prohibitive cuts under his right eye and in the middle of his forehead.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.