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 [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 Loeffler on GGG-Brook: The Best at 147 Facing The Best at 160 Bradley Warns: Crawford Can Win, But Pacquiao is NO Postol HBO Sports Head: We Want To Match The Best Fights Possible Olympic Boxers, Now Without Headgear, Worry About Cuts Dimitrenko Confident of Beating Parker, Derailing Joshua Fight Marlon Tapales Shocks Pungluang Sor Singyu, Wins WBO Belt Paul Smith Set For September Return, Won't Be on Liverpool Bill Abel Sanchez: Manny Pacquiao Should Fight Keith Thurman Photos: Robert Guerrero, Alfredo Angulo, Gausha Presser Paulie Malignaggi’s Master Plan: This is Just Step One Loeffler: Golovkin Will Have 3 Fights Prior To Canelo Fight Alfredo Angulo Eyes Gold: I Want a World Title Shot in 2017! Video: Timothy Bradley Talks Pacquiao vs. Crawford, More Video: Loeffler Talks Golovkin vs. Brook HBO Tripleheader Robert Guerrero Aims For Rematch With Danny Garcia Leo Santa Cruz Says Having Dad in NYC Brought Him To Tears Photos: Joseph Diaz, Nick Arce, Roy Tapia Putting in Work Gamboa's Coach: One or Two More, Then Bring on Lomacheneko! Ruben Villa Inks Promotional With Banner and Thompson HBO Sports Head: Chocolatito Has Gotta Perform With Cuadras Tapales Struggles To Make Weight For Sor Singyu WBO Title Fight Photos: Carl Frampton, Leo Santa Cruz Face To Face in NYC WBC Prez on Crawford: One Voluntary, Then Mandatory Fight Jonathan Guzman Robbed of $70,000 Purse at The Airport Prince Naseem Backs Frampton To Get Job Done With Santa Cruz WBC Prez: Povetkin-Wilder Situation To Be Resolved Soon Noel Gevor vs. Mirko Larghetti on October 14 in Hamburg HBO Sports Hopeful of 3 Fights for Golovkin, Canelo in 2016 Andre Ward-Alexander Brand Full Undercard Announced Cuadras To Chocolatito: The Title is Coming Back To Mexico Jose Ramirez Targets World Title Shot, Returns on December 10 Parker To Have Two More Fights Before Anthony Joshua Clash Loeffler: As Soon as Golovkin Has a Fight, Everyone Wants Him! Roach Admits: I Don't Think I'll Accept Crawford For Pacquiao! Manager: Flores Has The Heart and Balls To Beat Rigondeaux Joseph Parker's Trainer Laughs at Haumono Protesting KO Loss Tapales Must Be in Top Form To Beat WBO Champ Sor Singyu Golovkin's Coach: We Wanted Ward, It Will Eventually Happen! Pacquiao's Ex-Trainer Warns Him To Stay Away From Crawford David Price vs. Eric Molina Showdown in Play For The Fall
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement