Advertisement
Advertisement

Crawford vs. Gamboa Clash is a Ratings Hit For HBO

By Jake Donovan

Everything about Terence Crawford’s rallying 9th round knockout of Yuriorkis Gamboa turned out to be a huge success, from the ring results to the crowd and now in terms of viewing audience.

HBO ended the first half of its 2014 boxing schedule with a bang, with their June 28 event drawing an average audience of 1.208 million viewers. The show marked the first time that HBO televised a boxing event from Omaha, Nebraska, and all indications suggest there is more to come.

The success is attributed in large part to Crawford, who made the first defense of his lightweight title and also his debut as an HBO headliner. The formula was a big hit, drawing 10,943 fans into the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, and his nine-round war with Gamboa registering as the second most-watched cable TV fight of 2014 to date.

The show topped out at 1.286 million viewers. Both the peak and average audience figures are good for the highest-rated HBO Boxing After Dark telecast of 2014 to date. The feat establishes a welcomed trend by HBO; the year’s previous best was established just two weeks prior, when Chris Algieri’s upset win over Ruslan Provodnikov drew more than 1 million viewers.

In the televised co-feature, Matt Korobov scored two knockdowns en route to a 10-round decision over Jose Uzcategui. The matchup of unbeaten middleweights proved painful to watch for the most part, but still drawing an average of 929,000 viewers, including a peak audience of 1.066 million viewers.

Crawford (24-0, 17KO) was making his fourth appearance on HBO, but his first as a headlining act. The night also served as his first fight in his hometown of Omaha, and just second overall pro fight in Nebraska. A star was truly born in a part of the country that lacks a pro sports franchise and whose history in the sport isn’t very extensive.

Top Rank, who promotes Crawford, announced intentions to return to Omaha before the year is out. By then, there stands a chance that the rising star also rises in weight; rumors of having struggled to make the lightweight limit for Saturday’s fight were followed with suggestions that his immediate future will reside in the 140 lb. division.

One rise that can be confirmed is his increase in ratings whenever he steps into the ring. Crawford made his HBO-televised debut last March, accepting a last-minute assignment versus Breidis Prescott as the televised co-feature to the rematch between Mike Alvarado and Brandon Rios. Crawford prevailed by unanimous decision in a fight that averaged 845,000 viewers.

His ring return came three months later, stopping Alejandro Sanabria in the 6th round of a bout that averaged 1.107 million viewers, the first of three consecutive times Crawford has now drew more than 1 million viewers for a fight.

An October ’13 points win over Andriy Klimov proved tough to watch, but still kept the interest of 1.11 million viewers who tuned in. The fight was sandwiched in between heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko’s painful-to-watch points win over Alexander Povetkin and the ring return of Miguel Cotto, who stopped Delvin Rodriguez in three rounds in his first fight back following a 10-month layoff.  

With little in the way of a supporting cast on Saturday, Crawford rose to the occasion on every level. His equally-matched opponent, the supremely talented Gamboa has appeared several times before on HBO but has never evolved beyond a cult following. The previously unbeaten Cuban was fighting for the first time in more than a year, but managed to control the action early on before his chin gave in.

Ironically, Crawford’s lone appearance away from HBO’s cameras in his past five fights came on the one night that outperformed Saturday’s show in the ratings. His title-winning effort over Ricky Burns took place on the road in Glasgow, Scotland this past March. The biggest win of his career came hours before Julio Cesar Chavez Jr’s rematch win over Bryan Vera in March, which remains the highest-rated fight of 2014 on HBO and on cable TV in general.

Crawford’s success in and out of the ring gives HBO the top eight spots in the most-watched cable TV fights of 2014 to date.

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by ChampBox@PR on 07-01-2014

Full Credit to Crawford for taking less money, and a risk and turning it into a huge success. He deserves it, as he is a talented very humble young man. He made me a fan, regardless of what I think…

Comment by gbonafide on 07-01-2014

That last paragraph is very telling and supports what I said when Floyd signed his big Sho deal: he will NOT move the ratings needle for Showtime. Its going to get even worse for them the rest of the year…

Comment by VG_Addict on 07-01-2014

Crawford should fight Mikey Garcia next. That would do some good numbers.

Comment by BillyWaltersJr on 07-01-2014

I'm glad to see it too. Both those guys deserve a great big Hip Hip Hooray for taking on a dangerous fighter. On another note...Gamboa should drop back down to 130 or 126.

Comment by .:: JSFD26 ::. on 07-01-2014

Meanwhile, more known people are doing 600k on Showtime.

Post a Comment/View More User Comments (34)
Top Headlines Floyd Mayweather: Timing Was Not Right For Amir Khan Bout Roy Jones Jr. and Kevin Mitchell: A Tale of Two Retirements McWilliams Arroyo Creeps In, Eyed For Roman Gonzalez Bout Marquez Says There Have Been Talks For Miguel Cotto Bout Photos: Povetkin Getting Jacked, in Beast Mode For Deontay Wilder Estrada's Promoter Questions Chocolatito's Pound For Pound Rank Luis Ortiz Content With Random Testing To Prove He's Clean Bob Arum: I Don't Ever Want To Retire! Why Would I? Robert Garcia Hopes Brother Mikey is Back in First Half of 2016 Tarver's Suspension Upheld, Fined $50K For Positive PED Test Lucas Matthysse-Pablo Cesar Cano Showdown in Talks Bob Arum Continues To Be The Master of Salesmanship Pungluang Sor Singyu Defends WBO Belt Against Pabustan Luis Ortiz Hopes Activity Level Doesn't Slow Down Anytime Soon Chavez Jr. Training Hard For Possible Jack Bout, Says Garcia Lebedev Will Go With Ramirez Unification First, Then Mandatory Mike Tyson Returns For Round 2 at The MGM Grand Antonio Orozco-Miguel Acosta Set For 3/25 at Fantasy Springs David Haye Tells Joshua Not To Risk His '0' Before They Fight McGuigan Believes Frampton vs. Quigg is a Crossover Fight Flanagan-Mathews: Zolani Tete To Face Jose Santos Gonzalez Sullivan Barrera: My Goal is To Knock Andre Ward Out! Blackwell-Eubank Jr. Set For March 26 At Wembley Garcia: Canelo vs. Khan is Going To Be a Pretty Close Fight Ricky Hatton Discusses Several Emotional Topics on Life, Career Loeffler: We Expect Canelo To Defend Against Golovkin Video: Robert Garcia on Brandon Rios, Canelo-Khan, More Sauerland: Abraham Win Could Make Groves Bout Much Bigger Theophane: Mayweather Will Advise Me on How To Beat Broner Golovkin Keeps The Line Moving in Supremacy Quest at 160 Boxing Priest Makes Boxing Comeback After 20 Years Arum Spoke To HBO About Making Golovkin vs. Ramirez Jorge Linares Injury Puts Zlaticanin Title Fight In Jeopardy Omar Narvaez To Face Jesus Vargas on February 19th Roach Says Gomez, Ramirez on Board To Help Manny Pacquiao Roy Jones Jr. Rejects Retirement Talk, Return is Not Ruled Out Dmitry Kudryashov is Now Training With Joe Goossen Gonzalez, Negrete, Delgado, Gramajo on LA Fight Club, March 4 Loeffler on Working With Haymon Side To Finalize Golovkin-Wade Ward: Barrera Not Stronger, Hasn't Seen This Speed, Conditioning
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement