By Terence Dooley
Eddie Hearn of Matchroom reached out BoxingScene to confirm that Kell Brook’s gruelling twelve-round majority decision win over America’s Carson Jones has netted impressive viewing figures for Sky Sports. Brook moved to 28-0 (18) courtesy of a 114-114, 116-113, 115-113 victory despite picking up a broken nose and shipping some big punches from Jones, now 34-9-2 (24).
Hearn has sent through a figure of 566,000 (via Kantar Media) with BARB expected to unveil a peak of around 530,000, which are remarkable numbers for a bill that did not feature a world title and a sign, perhaps, that Sky’s decision to go for fewer shows yet pack them with more title action is going to reap dividends despite some reservations over the network’s new boxing strategy.
Indeed, the figure comes hot on the heels of a 576, 500 peak audience for Carl Froch’s destruction of Lucian Bute in May. It is the second time that Brook has posted impressive figures as his victory over Matthew Hatton in March also attracted a healthy number of viewers.
It means that Brook’s win over Jones brought in bigger numbers than Kevin Mitchell’s WBO lightweight title challenge to Michael Katsidis, 272,000, and Audley Harrison’s revenge win over Michael Sprott for the EBU heavyweight belt, which gained a healthy audience of 274,000. Brook also knocked aside ITV 4’s figure of 349,000 for the second replay of Amir Khan versus Paulie Malignaggi.
It means that the 26-year-old contender can now move into a final IBF title eliminator with Hector Saldivia confident that he his recent exploits have given him extra clout via impressive viewing figures, which will come in handy in the future if Hearn attempts to lure big U.S. and International welterweight names over to the U.K. for a showdown with “Special K”. Brook will now keep one eye on the September 8 meeting between IBF titlist Randall Bailey and Devon Alexander as he is likely to face the winner in the first half of 2013 should he overcome Argentina’s Saldivia.