By Keith Idec
The ratings for HBO’s third “Super Fly” broadcast were significantly lower than the network’s second telecast that featured 115-pound fighters.
Nielsen Media Research released ratings Tuesday that indicated HBO’s “Boxing After Dark” card Saturday night drew a peak audience of 421,000 during the second of three fights – a 12-round draw between Filipinos Donnie Nietes (41-1-5, 23 KOs) and Aston Palicte (24-2-1, 20 KOs). The Nietes-Palicte fight, which was contested for the vacant WBO super flyweight title, also averaged more viewers (349,000) than opener of that three-bout broadcast and the main event from The Forum in Inglewood, California.
Viewership went down for the main event, Juan Francisco Estrada’s convincing victory over Felipe Orucuta. An average of 298,000 viewers watched that fight, which attracted a peak audience of 329,000.
The Estrada-Orucuta fight began at the same time the main event of a competing card on Showtime, Shawn Porter-Danny Garcia, was in its championship rounds. That 12-round welterweight title bout, which Porter won by unanimous decision, drew a peak audience of 690,000 and an average audience of 619,000 from Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Mexico’s Estrada (37-3, 25 KOs) soundly defeated Mexico’s Orucuta (36-5, 30 KOs), who lost a unanimous decision in their 12-rounder.
The opener of this telecast, Kazuto Ioka-McWilliams Arroyo, peaked at 371,000 viewers and averaged 310,000. Japan’s Ioka (23-1, 13 KOs) knocked down Puerto Rico’s Arroyo (17-4, 14 KOs) in the third round and won a 10-round unanimous decision.
In addition to direct competition for viewers from Showtime’s tripleheader, HBO’s third “Super Fly” broadcast seemingly suffered from neither Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez nor Srisaket Sor Rungvisai appearing on it.
The main event of HBO’s previous “Super Fly” telecast attracted a peak audience of 753,000 on February 24, also from The Forum. In that 12-round fight, Thailand’s Sor Rungvisai defeated Estrada by majority decision to retain his WBC super flyweight title.
The Sor Rungvisai-Estrada encounter averaged 639,000 viewers.
The first “Super Fly” main event, Sor Rungvisai’s fourth-round knockout of Gonzalez in their immediate rematch, was watched by a peak audience of 835,000 viewers and an average audience of 796,000 a year ago.
That tripleheader benefited from the allure of the second bout between Sor Rungvisai (46-4-1, 41 KOs) and Nicaragua’s Gonzalez (46-2, 38 KOs), who was commonly considered boxing’s pound-for-pound king before Sor Rungvisai scored a controversial majority-decision victory over him in March 2017 at Madison Square Garden.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.