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Boxingscene.com

Ali's Upset of Miguel Cotto Peaked at 1,012,000 Viewers on HBO

By Keith Idec

The ratings reflect how much more competitive the Miguel Cotto-Sadam Ali fight turned out to be than the boxing public’s perception prior to it taking place.

Ali’s upset of Cotto in the Puerto Rican legend’s farewell fight Saturday night drew a peak audience of 1,012,000 viewers and averaged 944,000, according to ratings released Tuesday by Nielsen Media Research. Only one bout broadcast by either HBO or Showtime drew a higher peak audience than Cotto-Ali in 2017.

HBO’s telecast of Terence Crawford’s domination of Felix Diaz peaked at 1,036,000 viewers May 20. Their one-sided main event at Madison Square Garden also lured an average audience of 961,000, slightly higher than Cotto-Ali.

cotto-ali-fight (2)_2

The 37-year-old Cotto (41-6, 33 KOs) went off as an 11-1 favorite over Ali (26-1, 14 KOs) and was widely expected to stop a welterweight contender who moved up to the 154-pound limit for the first time in his eight-year pro career. Brooklyn’s Ali hurt him in the second and fourth rounds, though, before overcoming trouble in the sixth and seventh rounds to win a 12-round unanimous decision and the WBO super welterweight title.

All three judges scored their 12-round fight for the 29-year-old Ali (116-112, 115-113, 115-113).

Ratings for Cotto-Ali represented a second straight strong showing for HBO, despite that the final fight of Cotto’s celebrated career was heavily criticized as a mismatch. The premium-cable channel’s main event the previous Saturday night – Sergey Kovalev’s second-round stoppage of Vyacheslav Shabranskyy in The Theater at Madison Square Garden – was viewed by a peak audience of 900,000 and averaged 869,000 viewers.

The opener of HBO’s broadcast Saturday, Rey Vargas’ 12-round, unanimous-decision defeat of Oscar Negrete, peaked at 788,000 viewers. The average viewership for that bout was 697,000.

Mexico’s Vargas (31-0, 22 KOs) fought through cuts over each eye, both caused by accidental head-butts, to soundly defeat Colombia’s Negrete (17-1, 7 KOs) on all three scorecards. Vargas won by scores of 120-108, 119-109 and 119-109 to retain his WBC super bantamweight championship.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing. 

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by sparda77 on 12-05-2017

[QUOTE=Boxnation fan;18296216]He was just play acting with her and they were both pretending as they've known each other for years and made the whole thing up. He's also married to a beard but she just stays with him as he…

Comment by Boxnation fan on 12-05-2017

[QUOTE=sparda77;18295999]Mmmm, I don't think so... Did you see the video with him and MJP from behind the gloves?? He was coming on to her and even ask her to move to London...watching them tells me there's definitely something going... Either…

Comment by mrlopez on 12-05-2017

Cotto is a 1st ballot hall of famer. Thanks for the great fights.

Comment by sparda77 on 12-05-2017

[QUOTE=Boxnation fan;18295279]Just things you hear around Gyms and online before they get deleted. Might be BS but you never know. Just look at the way he looks at young boxers, it's in a really seedy pervy way.[/QUOTE] Mmmm, I don't…

Comment by Catrin on 12-05-2017

[QUOTE=MexicanStyle#1;18295659]For the record I tuned in for the Rey Vargas fight!!! I'm sure I'm not the only one!!![/QUOTE] I Tuned for vargas as well but I remembered the effort cotto put vs kameda [MENTION=6623]stu[/MENTION]bhub I was there and I figured…

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