By Keith Idec
Dmitry Bivol’s debut on premium cable drew respectable ratings considering his level of opposition and the time it aired live in the United States.
Bivol’s first-round knockout victory over Trent Broadhurst on Saturday peaked at 356,000 viewers and drew an average audience of 341,000 for HBO, according to ratings released Tuesday by Nielsen Media Research. The one-bout broadcast from Monte Carlo, Monaco, began at 5:45 p.m. ET/2:45 p.m. PT in the United States.
HBO’s same-day replay of the Bivol-Broadhurst bout drew a peak audience of 305,000 and an average viewership of 289,000 on Saturday night.
Interestingly, live U.S. television ratings for the comparatively unknown Bivol’s victory were similar to ratings the previous Saturday afternoon for British superstar Anthony Joshua’s most recent heavyweight title defense.
Showtime’s live airing of Joshua’s 10th-round stoppage of Cameroon’s Carlos Takam peaked at 361,000 viewers October 28. An average of 334,000 viewers watched Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs), the IBF/IBO/WBA heavyweight champion, defeat Takam (35-4-1, 27 KOs) before a capacity crowd of roughly 78,000 at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.
Kyrgyzstan’s Bivol (12-0, 10 KOs) successfully made his first defense of the WBA world light heavyweight title by blasting Australia’s Broadhurst (20-2, 12 KOs) with a straight right hand just before the bell sounded to end the first round of a scheduled 12-round fight at Casino de Monte Carlo. The hard-hitting Bivol could battle Cuba’s Sullivan Barrera (20-1, 14 KOs) in his next fight if Barrera beats the Dominican Republic’s Felix Valera (15-1, 13 KOs) on November 25 in The Theater at Madison Square Garden.
HBO also will televise Barrera-Valera as part of a tripleheader that’ll feature Sergey Kovalev in the main event. Russia’s Kovalev (30-2-1, 26 KOs) is scheduled to face Ukraine’s Vyacheslav Shabranskyy (19-1, 16 KOs) in a 12-round fight for the vacant WBO light heavyweight title.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.