Advertisement
Advertisement

Froch-Groves II Scores With Saturday Afternoon Viewers

By Jake Donovan

The highly anticipated rematch between Carl Froch and George Groves fared incredibly well at the box-office, produced a highlight reel ending and – for U.S. cable network HBO – proved to be a worthy Saturday matinee feature.

The May 31 headliner at Wembley Stadium in London proved to be a successful venture in an otherwise risky time slot for HBO, generating an average of 700,000 viewers over the course of their thrilling super middleweight title fight.

Froch (33-2, 24KO) added to his growing stature as boxing’s perennial tough guy, overcoming an early rally to knock Groves out cold in the 8th round of their instant classic. 

The bout topped out at 830,000 viewers and overall served as a 42% increase from Froch’s network appearance this time one year ago. His rematch with Mikkel Kessler – in which Froch avenged a 2010 defeat to score a unanimous decision last May – was one of the best fights of 2013, but only playing to an audience of 493,000 viewers on this side of the Atlantic.

Demand for the rematch came the moment Froch was hailed a stoppage winner over Groves in their controversial first fight last November. Groves scored an early knockdown and was ahead on all three scorecards through eight rounds before getting rocked in round nine. Froch may or may not have been on his way to a dramatic stoppage, but referee Howard John Foster denied the defending unified champ a spectacular finish – or Groves the opportunity to recover – by jumping in and ordering what many deemed was a horribly premature stoppage.

The controversy made for great theatre in the buildup to the rematch. Wembley Stadium was packed to the gills, with 80,000 tickets sold and forever solidifying Froch’s status as a superstar in England.

In the televised lead-in, Nonito Donaire captured a belt in his fourth weight class, dethroning featherweight titlist Simpiwe Vetyeka via four-round technical unanimous decision. The bout took place earlier in the day in Macau and aired via same-day tape delay on HBO.

The delay allowed for the developing storyline of the fight’s own controversial ending. Donaire was cut in the opening round from what was ruled a headbutt, fighting through the blood and repeat fouls to floor Vetyeka in round four.

Just as the action was intensifying, the fight was stopped on the belief that Donaire’s swollen shut left eye was deemed too severe to continue. The ruling was made at the end of round four, though referee Luis Pabon – who mishandled the entire fight – ordered the bell to ring to start round five, thus having the round scored and making the fight “official.”

Donaire was up on all three scorecards at the time the bout was stopped, though hardly coming all the way back from his disastrous 2013 campaign which saw him deal a boxing lesson by Guillermo Rigondeaux in April and struggle mightily with past knockout victim Vic Darchinyan last September.

The drama stemming from Macau didn’t do very much to draw viewers to the tube for the 4PM ET start time of the split-site doubleheader. Hearing about it was good enough, or perhaps enough boxing fans woke up early to watch live via stream.

Whatever the case, the featherweight bout played to an average of 433,000 viewers. It marked the first time HBO’s flagship network aired a same-day offering of a fight from Macau, with past events – dating back to Top Rank’s inaugural show at the Venetian Macao in April ’13 - having always been showcased on its sister network, HBO2.

All data was obtained from Nielsen Media Research.

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

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Sweden2716 on 06-05-2014

The reason why Froch's 800,000 plus is more impressive than Stevenson's 800,000 is that one is at prime time at night when people are watching alot of TV , while one is in the afternoon when people normally does not…

Comment by bboy80 on 06-05-2014

[QUOTE=hitking;14626522]Let's see. A champion, who's not a big draw, and who's not a big puncher doesn't wanna travel overseas to fight a local star that he's already beaten on his home turf where there's a solid chance he'll need a…

Comment by bojangles1987 on 06-05-2014

[QUOTE=ShoulderRoll;14626533]What's hilarious is that those numbers on HBO (which has more subscribers) are being called a hit. But the Stevenson numbers on Showtime were called poor and a disappointment. What the hell is up with that?[/QUOTE] [QUOTE=Dirk Diggler UK;14626575]Stop playing…

Comment by Hougigo on 06-05-2014

[QUOTE=ShoulderRoll;14626589]Explain it to me. Stevenson-Fonfara peaked at 800,000 viewers on a network that has far fewer subscribers than HBO. On Memorial Day weekend. But that was considered horrible. :dunno:[/QUOTE] So there's no difference between a primetime slot in the evening…

Comment by Dirk Diggler UK on 06-05-2014

[QUOTE=ShoulderRoll;14626589]Explain it to me. Stevenson-Fonfara peaked at 800,000 viewers on a network that has far fewer subscribers than HBO. On Memorial Day weekend. But that was considered horrible. :dunno:[/QUOTE] It was on at prime time and Stevenson is a North…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (23)
Top Headlines Luis Concepcion Unseats Kohei Kono, Taguchi Beats Miyazaki Metcalf-Pryce To Head MGM Liverpool Show In October Juanma Isn't Sure if He Will Fight on After Vazquez Jr. Showdown Badou Jack on DeGale, Says PEDs Help Keep Bute From Fading Hearn Fires Back at Canelo: Brook is Doing What You Won't Do! Daily Bread Mailbag: Ward-Kovalev, GGG-Brook, Easter, More Kell Brook: Once I Beat Gennady Golovkin - I'm The Man! Quigg Backs Frampton: He Nullified Santa Cruz, Won By 3 Points Badou Jack-Callum Smith To Be Ordered on 9/13, Says Hearn Tarver Wanted Big Money, Co-Feature Billing For Usyk Sparring AIBA Executives To Meet, Discuss Further Changes, Improvements Kohei Kono-Luis Concepcion: Pre-Fight Report Card Arum Expects Pacquiao To Have at Least Two Fights in 2017 Rex Tso To Keep a Close Eye on Kono vs. Concepcion Outcome Neeco Macias: I Was Lucky Enough To Be Blessed With Heart George Foreman Fails To Sell His Lambo at Huge Car Auction Eubank Jr: Brook Has No Fire, He's Happy To Get Golovkin Payday Ed Brown Continues Busy Schedule, TV Networks Interested Peralta: Until Recently I Went Hungry, I Suffered A lot, Overcame It Canelo: Let's See if Liam Smith is The Fighter He Says He Is Jack Asis Calls it a Day, Decides To Retire From Boxing Cuadras: Chocolatito is Too Small, I Will Get The Job Done Don King: Povetkin-Stiverne Can Go To Russia, Putin is My Friend Sugar Ray Leonard on What Brook Needs To Shock Golovkin Juanma Calls Vazquez a Clown, Reveals Details of Catch-Weight Video: Eddie Hearn Talks Canelo, Khan, Golovkin-Brook, More Sergio Mora: That Was No Knockdown vs. Jacobs; Was All My Ankle Video: Kell Brook Glowing With Confidence as Golovkin Nears Joshua-Pulev, Parker-Price, Whyte-Chisora Triple on 11/26? Video: Eddie Hearn Talks Joshua's Return, DeGale, Jack, Smith Amir Khan: I Want The Danny Garcia Fight, I Want Him in May Malignaggi vs. El Mousaoui in Line For EBU Clash, Bundu Stripped Brook: I've Faced Death, Golovkin is Fun - I'll Rip Into Him! Canelo: When My Body is Ready, I'll Take on Anyone and Everyone Tyrone Brunson vs. Ismael Garcia Tops 10/14 Card in Philly Joseph Diaz Jr. Feels He’s Close to a Title Shot After Cancio Fight Joseph Parker's Handlers Interested in Facing David Price Next Daniel Jacobs Wants To ‘Hurt’ Sergio Mora, ‘Shut That Trap Of His’ Canelo: Golovkin-Brook? GGG Should Have Shut His Mouth! Joseph Parker's Coach Discusses Strategy For Dimitrenko Clash
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement