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Boxingscene.com

HBO's Tripleheader Peaked at 618,000 Viewers Saturday Night

By Keith Idec

HBO’s “Boxing After Dark” tripleheader amounted to an entertaining telecast Saturday night, but its ratings dropped from the network’s previous two boxing offerings due to a lack of star power and some competition.

A week after Puerto Rican icon Miguel Cotto’s farewell fight, an upset, unanimous-decision defeat to Sadam Ali, peaked at 1,012,000 viewers, Saturday’s broadcast drew a peak audience of 618,000 during the main event. That bout, an action-packed brawl Miguel Roman won by ninth-round technical knockout against Orlando Salido, averaged 576,000 viewers, according to ratings released Tuesday by Nielsen Media Research.

Mexico’s Roman (58-12, 45 KOs) dropped Salido in the fourth, eighth and ninth rounds before referee Robert Byrd stopped their scheduled 10-round, 130-pound fight at 1:43 of the ninth round. Mexico’s Salido (44-14-4, 31 KOs) announced his retirement after the fight.

salido-roman-fight (13)

The co-feature that aired before Roman-Salido, Kenichi Ogawa’s controversial upset of Tevin Farmer, drew an average audience of 513,000 viewers and peaked at 587,000 viewers.

Japan’s Ogawa (23-1, 17 KOs) won a split decision over Philadelphia’s Farmer (25-5-1, 5 KOs), who seemed to out-work Ogawa during their 12-round fight for the then-vacant IBF super featherweight title.

Two judges – Burt Clements (116-112) and Max DeLuca (115-113) – scored the fight for Ogawa. Judge Tim Cheatham had it 116-112 for Farmer.

The opener of HBO’s three-bout broadcast, Francisco Vargas’ technical-decision victory against Stephen Smith, was watched by a peak audience of 540,000 and averaged 486,000 viewers.

Mexico’s Vargas (24-1-2, 17 KOs) was declared the winner of a fight that was halted in the ninth round, when England’s Smith (25-4, 15 KOs) suffered a gruesome injury to his left ear. All three judges – Eric Cheek (88-83), John McKaie (88-83) and Glenn Trowbridge (89-82) – had Vargas ahead by comfortable margins when an accidental clash of heads caused a grotesque gash that essentially cut Smith’s left ear in half.

HBO’s broadcast began at 10:20 p.m. ET, one hour and 20 minutes following the start of an ESPN telecast that featured Vasyl Lomachenko’s technical knockout of Guillermo Rigondeaux in the main event. The Lomachenko-Rigondeaux fight ended just before 11:30 p.m. ET, when HBO was televising the Ogawa-Farmer fight.

The Roman-Salido main event began just before 12:20 a.m. ET, almost an hour following the conclusion of Lomachenko-Rigondeaux.

ESPN’s four-fight telecast averaged 1,730,000 viewers, which made it the third most-watched boxing broadcast on basic or premium cable since 2012 (https://www.boxingscene.com/espns-loma-rigo-watched-by-173m-basic-cables-no-2-2012--123354).

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 landotter on 12-12-2017

Those were good fights. Watched the HBO card on my DVR after I got home from watching Loma/Rigo. I would call both cards truly successful. HBO couldn't have been hoping for too much better.

Comment by filup79 on 12-12-2017

[QUOTE=GhostofDempsey;18329879]Not bad numbers considering they were up against ESPN/Loma-Rigo and their headliner was Salido.[/QUOTE] HBOs main event started an hour later after the Loma fight was over. They really didn't go head to head. We had both fights on at…

Comment by GhostofDempsey on 12-12-2017

Not bad numbers considering they were up against ESPN/Loma-Rigo and their headliner was Salido.

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