Advertisement

Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Wilder-Stiverne Triple a Smash Hit For Showtime Ratings

By Jake Donovan

Pay-cable giant Showtime came out swinging to begin its 2015 boxing season, with its January 17 tripleheader topped by Deontay Wilder’s impressive boxing display in dethroning heavyweight titlist Bermane Stiverne over 12 rounds.

The main event—which aired live from MGM Grand in Las Vegas—was a hit with boxing audiences, drawing in 1.24 million viewers for the 2015 season premiere of Showtime Championship Boxing . The fight peaked in 1.34 million viewers.

In fact, all three bouts landed in the Top 20 of the most watched fights on Showtime since 2004, when Nielsen began tracking ratings on Showtime’s flagship station separate from its affiliate networks. 

Wilder-Stiverne becomes Showtime’s most watched bout since Austin Trout’s upset win over Miguel Cotto in Dec. ’12, and the fourth-most viewed Showtime fight since 2004. It also recorded the highest rating share of any fight on any network—including HBO—in more than a year, drawing a 3.2 share on the night.

The pair of heavyweights appeared in their first Showtime-televised main event. Wilder has appeared on several past undercards on Showtime’s flagship station—beginning with a 3 rd round knockout of previously unbeaten Kelvin Price in the opening bout of a Dec. ’12 show—as well as its sister network SHO Extreme. 

Stiverne had never previously appeared on Showtime, the closest coming on the non-televised undercard of Don King’s first Shobox promotion in March ’07. His lone bout on pay-cable came in his first fight with Chris Arreola, scoring a landslide 12-round decision in their April ’13 heavyweight title eliminator on HBO, which played to only 747,000 homes.

Their rematch came last May with the vacant heavyweight title on the line. Stiverne scored a 6 th round knockout to become the first-ever fighter from Haiti to win a heavyweight belt, in a bout that served as the headliner of a rare Saturday night boxing special on ESPN. The show drew just shy of 1 million viewers on a network available in nearly 100 million homes. 

Wilder-Stiverne not only far eclipsed that total, but doing so with Showtime boasting a pay-subscription base of less than 25% of those with access to ESPN, a basic cable network.  

Wilder (33-0, 32KOs) entered the bout—and still remains—the last American boxer to have won an Olympic medal, capturing the bronze as a heavyweight in the 2008 Beijing Games. Saturday’s performance allowed the fighting pride of Tuscaloosa, Alabama to become the first American to wear a heavyweight belt in nearly eight years, ending the drought that began with Shannon Briggs conceding his belt to Sultan Ibragimov in June ’07.

Stiverne (24-2-1, 21KOs) became, a feat he accomplished with a rousing 6th round knockout in his rematch with Chris Arreola last May. For his lone defense, Stiverne went about training camp the very wrong way, having to drop a lot of weight in a few weeks, which caused severe dehydration and led to his being hospitalized for two days before being released on Monday.

In the co-feature, Leo Santa Cruz turned away the challenge of a determined but overmatched Jesus Ruiz with an 8th round stoppage in their super bantamweight title fight.

Santa Cruz (29-0-1, 17KOs) racked up the fourth defense of his belt, appearing on Showtime’s flagship station for the first time in more than a year following back-to-back appearances on Pay-Per-View undercards. His latest ring adventure drew 912,000 viewers, his highest rated bout since appearing regularly on Showtime in 2012.

The televised opener was by far the best bout of the evening, with Amir Imam emerging as one to watch in an already loaded 140 lb. division following his 5th round knockout of Fidel Maldonado Jr. (19-3, 16KOs)

Both fighters hit the deck in a wild round three that—in a young 2015—serves as the first true entry for Round of the Year. Imam (16-0, 14KOs) floored Maldonado hard at the end of previous round, but found himself on the deck in the opening moments of the third frame. The unbeaten boxer from Albany, N.Y. dusted himself off and proceeded to send his scrappy foe to the canvas twice more before rounds end, and again in round five to finish him off for good.

The free-swinging affair played to an audience of 811,000 viewers. Both fighters were making their first appearance on Showtime Championship Boxing; Maldonado Jr. had previously appeared on Showtime’s ShoBox series.

All data provided by Nielsen Media Research.

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 jas on 01-24-2015

[url]http://youtu.be/6_i1N7K7XHo[/url]

Comment by ShoulderRoll on 01-23-2015

Great news for Showtime. Their boxing telecasts are off to a good start for 2015.

Comment by Catrin on 01-23-2015

This fight was a waste of life wilder hit a punching bag all nite for exception that the bag has lateral movement! That being said any of the klitchko brothers would rape wilder any day of the week anywhere in…

Comment by BrushMyHair. on 01-22-2015

BombSquaaaaaaaaaaaddddddddddd

Comment by mathed on 01-21-2015

Wilder is a future PPV star as long as he keeps winning. He needs to go take Fury out in his next fight.

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (41)
Top Headlines Photos: Quigg-Simion, Campbell-Perez, Taylor-Meinke - Presser Photos: David Lemieux Grinds Hard For Return on Canelo-Chavez Photos: Joshua, Klitschko - Face To Face at Final Presser Lee Haskins vs. Ryan Burnett IBF Title Clash on June 10 Michael Conlan, Top Rank Chicago Card on May 26 - Ticket Info Joshua: I Took Klitschko Fight Because Our Division Needed It Jacobs' Trainer Would Like Gennady Golovkin Rematch - Next Team Andrade: Lara Turned Us Down Twice; Never Talked Money Koncz: Brisbane Crown Will Be Cheering For Pacquiao, Not Horn Joseph Parker's Handlers View Razvan Cojanu as Dangerous Fight Kevin Johnson Vows To Break Down Kubrat Pulev, Make Him Quit Catterall Feels Walsh is Capable of Shocking Gervonta Davis Photos: Pacquiao, Horn - Go Face To Face in Melbourne Photo: Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Already Down To 169.5-Pounds Video: Hearn on Joshua-Wilder, British Scene, Brook-Spence, Fury Horn: I Can Stop Pinching Myself - The Pacquiao Fight is Real! Vitali Klitschko: I'm More Than Sure My Brother Knocks Joshua Out! Video: Johnny Nelson Talks Joshua vs. Klitschko Anthony Joshua - Is He Really Ready For This? Video: Loeffler Discusses Golovkin's Future Path, Joshua-Klitschko Chavez Jr. Down To 169.5-Pounds With 10 Days To Canelo Fight! Video: Malignaggi Breaks Down Klitschko-Joshua, Canelo-Chavez Loeffler: Golovkin Will Wait, Focus on Canelo-Chavez Winner Video: Errol Spence Discusses Kell Brook Showdown, Training Video: Tony Bellew on The Future, Possible Opponents, More Video: Vitali Klitschko Talks Wladimir vs. Anthony Joshua Bout Joshua's Coach: Our Job To Prove Klitschko is No Longer Dominant Porter-Berto Bout Drew Average of 468,000 Viewers on Showtime Giovani Santillan Will Face Juan Garcia Mendez on May 19, Ontario Roach: Golovkin Exposed a Bit in Last Fight, Cotto Can Beat Him Joshua Can Be a Nasty Motherf***er in The Ring, Says Mentor Photos: Anthony Joshua, Wladimir Klitschko Open Workouts Emmanuel Folly, Unbeaten Prospect, Arrested on Child Porn Charges Joshua: Klitschko's Chin Can't Be Bad; He Reigned for 10 Years Heather Hardy, Charles Conwell Return on May 18, Broadway Boxing Zolani Tete is Now Elevated To FULL WBO Bantamweight Champion Klitschko Brothers vs. British Fighters - A Review and Analysis Frank Bruno: Joshua Could Potentially KO Klitschko "Very Early" Helenius Pounds 'Chisora' Heavy Bag in Camp, Vows Repeat Win Arum: American Fans, Writers Are Warming Up To Pacquiao-Horn
Advertisement
Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement