Kovalev-Caparello Pulls 990K Viewers, Rios-Chaves 936K

By Jake Donovan

The August 2 split-site tripleheader generated a lot of press for HBO, though almost none of it pertained to the actual matchups that aired live from Atlantic City and Las Vegas.

Such was reflected in the ratings, in which the night served as an investment into the future more so than significant reason to turn in on a midsummer night.

The storyline for the evening was the light heavyweight title fight showcased from Atlantic City serving as a prelude to a major clash in the fall, one that also caused a major shakeup between HBO and Showtime. Sergey Kovalev survived a flash knockdown in round one to score three knockdowns of his own in a 2nd round stoppage of overmatched Blake Caparello at the Revel Resort in Atlantic City.

An average of 990,000 viewers tuned in for the light heavyweight title fight, which peaked at 1.052 million viewers. The average viewership was a slight decrease from Kovalev’s previous appearance on HBO, a 7th round knockout of Cedric Agnew that generated an average of just over 1 million viewers for his first network headliner.

For all intent and purposes, the night was about Kovalev, as a win helped moved forward plans for a highly anticipated light heavyweight unification bout with Bernard Hopkins. News of the bout broke just after last Friday’s weigh-in, with the fight scheduled to take place in November, either in Atlantic City or Brooklyn and to air on HBO.

The storyline wasn’t just Kovalev finding a high-profile opponent, but also Hopkins’ return to HBO following a two-fight stint with Showtime. It was believed that Hopkins was heading for a showdown with Adonis Stevenson, who caused a stir earlier in the year with his defection from HBO to Showtime and reneging on an agreement to face Kovalev.

Instead, Hopkins–never one to settle for the status quo–sent shockwaves through the industry when agreeing to face the dangerous unbeaten knockout artist in a fight that will come just two months shy of his 50th birthday.

How much the news impacted the ratings isn’t entirely known. Kovalev’s ratings were slightly better than the final leg of the televised tripleheader, in which Brandon Rios scored a 9th round disqualification win over Diego Chaves in Las Vegas.

The Rios-Chavez bout, an awkward brawl that started strong but quickly imploded into a foul-filled mess, drew an average of 936,000 viewers. Peak viewership for the fight reached 1.003 million viewers.

Rios ended a two-fight losing streak, albeit by means in which he didn’t desire and for a fight that almost never happened. Chaves’ travel status was in limbo due to a massive backlog from U.S. Immigration courts, as he was stuck in his native Argentina before receiving clearance Wednesday afternoon to travel abroad.

The efforts of promoter Bob Arum and Majority Senate Leader Harry Reid to save the show were properly celebrated in the media. Unfortunately, the highly anticipated brawl instead resulted in the nine rounds of dysfunction produced on Saturday, with both fighters warned and penalized for fouls from referee Vic Drakulich, who grew frustrated early and eventually lost all control of the fight before tossing Chaves midway through the ninth round.

Opening the telecast also from Las Vegas, Jessie Vargas scored an unpopular 12-round decision over Anton Novikov. The matchup of unbeaten super lightweights drew an average of 728,000 viewers, with the fight peaking at 839,000 viewers.

All data was provided by Nielsen Media Research.

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of, as well as the Records Keeper for the Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and a member of Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Boxer777Prime on 08-06-2014

[QUOTE=Inkanyamba;14829027]Wow. Both Golovkin and Kovalev's numbers are down. To think they were being billed as HBO's new hype PPV machine. Guess they jumped the gun on that one huh?[/QUOTE] And Stevenson couldn't draw 600k against Fonfara. Kovalev drew 80% better…

Comment by Pigeons on 08-05-2014

Boxing's most exciting fighters can't even draw 1M viewers. That is the definition of pathetic.

Comment by Eastcoast on 08-05-2014

Nobody's mentioning seasonality. Late July through August have historically lower ratings than at other times of the year. Had either of the last two HBO cards been on during Feb-Jun or Sep-Dec, you likely would've seen the higher numbers.

Comment by LouIE G on 08-05-2014

[QUOTE=Weebler I;14828617]Kovalev's numbers appear to have held up well, which makes it puzzling as to why Golovkin's dipped, particularly considering Geale was the better opponent. I can only think it's because Kovalev has fought 3 times on US TV during…

Comment by Inkanyamba on 08-05-2014

Wow. Both Golovkin and Kovalev's numbers are down. To think they were being billed as HBO's new hype PPV machine. Guess they jumped the gun on that one huh?

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (38)
Top Headlines WBC Prez: I'm Not Protecting Canelo, But We Have To Be Fair! Arum Says ESPN Momentum Building, Big Plans Ahead in 2018 Danny O'Connor Gets Off The Floor, Decisions Steve Claggett Felix Verdejo Very Angry With Decision To Stop The Fight Video: Crawford's Coach Shreds Horn - Warns Spence, Thurman Kyril Relikh vs. Eduard Troyanovsky Showdown is Ordered Danny Roman vs. Moises Flores Must Happen By June, Says WBA Arum Wants Ramirez, Prograis to Take Interim Fights on Same Card Michael Conlan Hopes To Fight in Belfast on June Date Kovalev-Marcus Browne Deal Done for HBO Bout; Date Not Set Arum: Felix Verdejo Very Disappointing; It's a Lack of Discipline Felix Valera, Luis Lebron Grab Knockout Wins in Santo Domingo Sam Soliman, Wes Capper Fight To a Twelve Round Draw Ryuya Yamanaka Retains WBO Strap, Canizales Wins WBA Belt Photos: Gvozdyk Earns WBC Shot, Michael Conlan Excites Crowd Joe Joyce-Dereck Chisora Likely To Be Confirmed For Bellew-Haye Photos: Jose Ramirez Breaks Down Amir Imam For WBC Belt Roach: Linares Has Fight Left in Him; Might Be Too Old for Loma Photos: Antonio Lozada Drills, Stops Felix Verdejo in Shocker Photos: Joe Joyce With Crushing One-Punch KO of Donnie Palmer CompuBox: Jose Ramirez's Pressure, Power Shots Was Difference Robert Helenius Wins Split Decision Over Yury Bykhautsou Gvozdyk: I Want The Stevenson vs. Jack Winner in My Next Fight! Giovanni Cabrera Mioletti Shocks Ray Lampkin With KO in Two Lozada: I Knew I Would KO Felix Verdejo, I Went For it in Tenth Cristian Mijares Gets Stoppage Win Over Fernando Saucedo Jaime Munguia Knocks Out Johnny Navarrete in The Third Roach: Ramirez Won Every Round, 2 Judges Should Be Investigated! Don King: Imam Didn't Throw Enough, Ramirez Was Relentless Michael Conlan Demolishes David Berna in Two Rounds Jose Ramirez Lands Gold, Decisions Amir Imam For WBC Title Jose Ramirez vs. Amir Imam - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Gvozdyk Wins Tough Decision Over Amar, in Line For WBC Shot Ramirez: I'm Ready To Fight Best, No Matter What Critics Think Yeison Cohen Passes Away After KO Loss Earlier This Month Antonio Lozada Drops, Stops Felix Verdejo in Tenth Round Joe Joyce Destroys Donnie Palmer With Big Knockout in One Christopher Diaz Wins by TKO, Rodriguez Suffers Hand Injury Jose Pedraza Sheds Rust, Pounds Out Decision Over Rodriguez Whittom Dies After Being in 10 Month Coma Following KO Loss

Latest Active Forum Threads