Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

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 [email protected] 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 Memo: Chavez Jr. Will Be Stronger, No Weight Issues For Canelo Thurman-Garcia: Narvaez vs. Rodriguez Clash is Eyed For Card Rob Brant Stops Alexis Hloros in First at Grand Casino in Hinckley Canelo vs. Chavez is a Fight Boxing Needed, Says De La Hoya David Haye: Chris Eubank Jr. is a Force, He Will Go All The Way Canelo vs. Chavez: Positive Talks Ongoing With MGM, Jerry Jones Conlan Hopes For 'Dream Fight' With Carl Frampton in The Future Top Rank Prez Eyes Deontay Wilder vs. Joseph Parker Unification Jacobs: Most Guys are Beaten Mentally When They Face Golovkin Frampton Expects Rematch With Leo Santa Cruz To Be Easier Tomoki Kameda Returns To Japan on March 10, Faces Tawatchai Carl Greaves Looks Back On 2016, Is Excited About 2017 Jermell Charlo, Gary Russell Mandatory Double Eyed For March 11 De La Hoya: Canelo Beating Chavez Jr. Will Not Satisfy The Critics Cedric Vitu Retains EBU Title, Decisions Isaac Real in Levallois Horn Warns Pacquiao, Top Rank Not To Look Beyond April Fight Angel Garcia, Mayweather Tarnished What Should've Been Good Week for Boxing WBA Champ Ortiz Wins Decision Over Ramos in Mexico City Robert Garcia: Canelo Has A lot More To Lose in Chavez Jr. Bout Hairon Socarras Training Hard in Miami For February 3 Return Zab Judah Returns, Blasts Out Munguia in Two Rounds Jose Pedraza Confident That He Will Return Strong at Lightweight Javier Fortuna Ready - Targets Sosa, Corrales, Lomachenko Alvarez vs. Chavez Rematch is Being Planned For March 11 Miguel Cotto: Juan Manuel Marquez Fight is Very Viable Bradley Pryce Announces Retirement After Defeat Robbie Davies Jr. Crushes Zoltan Szabo, Retains WBA Regional Patrick Nielsen, Dina Thorslund Win Decisions, Khattab Shocked Bellew: 'Ego Maniac' David Haye Better Hope He Ends Me in Four Beterbiev: Barrera Proved To Be a Real Fighter, He Agreed To Fight Luis Cruz Admits He Was Close To Retirement Before Easter Shot Mundine: When I Beat Danny Green - Call Me Black Houdini! Frank Warren: Liam Walsh Ready, He Can Beat Gervonta Davis! Frampton Expects Another Fan Friendly Fight Against Santa Cruz Curtis Stevens Sure Hand Injury Fully Healed for Lemieux Fight Garcia, 2-1 Underdog vs. Thurman: 'I Guess Vegas Don’t Like Me' Frank Warren on The James DeGale vs. Badou Jack Outcome Early Results Are In: BoxingScene Ratings Update Linares vs. Crolla II Card - Tomi Tatham To Face Liam Conroy Lewis Crocker To Make Pro Debut on February 18th in Belfast
Advertisement
Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement