Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Kovalev-Hopkins A Smash Hit With Home Viewers

By Jake Donovan

Sergey Kovalev has been a consistently solid draw for HBO Boxing in 2014. Bernard Hopkins has always served as a ratings magnet for the network. 

Naturally, their three-belt light heavyweight unification bout on November 8 in Atlantic City proved to be a smash hit with home viewers.  A peak average of 1.328 million viewers tuned in for what became a tour-de-force performance by Kovalev, dropping the legendary Hopkins in the opening round en route to a dominant 12-round shutout to earn accolades as the best light heavyweight on the planet. 

The telecast peaked at 1.397 home viewers. Both numbers are good for the second highest rated bout of 2014, ranking just behind Julio Cesar Chavez Jr's rematch win over Bryan Vera in March.

All data was provided by Nielsen Media Research.

Kovalev (26-0-1, 23KOs) has emerged as a bonafide boxing star from the moment he entered the title picture. The Russian knockout artist has appeared before HBO viewers five times in the span of just 15 months, dating back to his 4th round knockout win over Nathan Cleverly last August. 

The first two network appearances for the unbeaten light heavyweight came in supporting capacity.  His win over Cleverly in Wales was the opening leg of a split-site tripleheader that also included Darren Barker and Kiko Martinez in separate title winning efforts in Atlantic City. 

Three months later, Kovalev traveled nord des lignes to Canada, knocking out Ismayl Sillah in two rounds in a bout viewed by 1.25 million viewers, his highest TV rating to date. The bout served as the chief support to lineal light heavyweight king Adonis Stevenson’s 6th round stoppage of Tony Bellew, a card designed to build towards a head-on collision.

With that plan came Kovalev’s first headliner this past March, matched soft against unbeaten but unheralded Cedric Agnew. The matchup became just a showcase after Stevenson signed with adviser Al Haymon and jumped ship from HBO to Showtime, thus killing any chance of a showdown with Kovalev, who’d just signed an exclusive deal with HBO. 

Fans still made the most of the televised appearance, averaging just over 1 million viewers. Ratings slightly dipped for his most recent fight prior to last Saturday, knocking out Blake Caparello in two rounds, in a fight that drew a peak average of 990,000 viewers. 

The fight with Caparello carried a ‘more of the same’ feel as Kovalev’s mismatch with Agnew, once again facing a challenger whose unbeaten record was the result of a thin résumé. The fight received a much-needed boost, however, when Hopkins (55-7-2, 32KOs) announced his intention to return to HBO following a two-fight stint with Showtime. 

Hopkins’ decision to face Kovalev on HBO came clear out of the blue, as many believed the 49-year old future Hall of Famer to have been on course for a fall showdown with Stevenson. That fight fell apart for reasons that continue to vary, depending on whom you ask.

Whatever the case, Hopkins was back on HBO for the first time since his light heavyweight title-winning effort over then-unbeaten Tavoris Cloud in March ’13, a bout which drew 1.2 million viewers. 

Saturday’s bout is likely his last at the top level, given the manner in which he was dominated by Kovalev and the fact that he’s two months shy of his 50th birthday. 

At age 31 and his wife recently giving birth to their baby son, Kovalev is in the prime of his career and his life. Whatever is in store for his in-ring future isn’t immediately clear, but as evidenced by his meteoric rise to the top, fans will continue to tune in.

Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com, 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 mathed on 11-11-2014

[QUOTE=IronDanHamza;15092484]Good numbers. Boxing will never die.[/QUOTE] [B][I]"UFC doe"[/I][/B]................:dance:

Comment by Russian Crushin on 11-11-2014

[QUOTE=DoktorSleepless;15093022]Yeah, this is actually pretty disappointing when you consider Hopkins-Pascal did 1.8m and Hopkins-Dawson II did 1.6m. This was the best "megafight" of sorts HBO had access to, and that's all it could muster. Pretty depressing IMO.[/QUOTE] Yup, was thinking…

Comment by jbpanama on 11-11-2014

The Ruskies and Eastern Euros are creating a Boxing Revolution, in the U.S., and Interest in the Sweet Science, will continue to grow... These Cat's come West, well Schooled, and Hungry. Looking for Big Bread!!!

Comment by FloydvsPac on 11-11-2014

[QUOTE=dook27;15093201]I'm not sure wich patient boxers you are reffering to....i thought kovalev would win (given the current situation). But aint no way i think that he would have beaten him 15 years ago. I won't bet against Kovalev either anytime…

Comment by dook27 on 11-11-2014

[QUOTE=FloydvsPac;15093178]I respect what you're trying to say. But to believe that Bernard would go from winning 0 rounds to at least 7 or 8 against Kovalev, if he was 15 years younger is an estimation I would not bet on.…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (50)
Top Headlines Adonis Stevenson: I'd Beat Bellew's Ass Again, KO Him in The UK! Donnie Nietes is Very Open To Facing Jerwin Ancajas Jaime Munguia Looks Forward To Liam Smith Showdown Pascal Urges Lemieux To Stay at 160: He's Too Small For 168 Linares Planning Ring Return, Wants To Reunite With Salas Photos: David Lemieux Returns, Pounds On Achour To Win Ramirez on Switch From Roach: Garcia's Young, Hungry, Motivated Photos: Jerwin Ancajas Gains Lopsided Win Over Jonas Sultan Quigg Willing to Fight Frampton in Rematch August 18 in Belfast Horn's Coach: Crawford's Trainer is Not 'Bomac' - He's 'Big Mac!' Golovkin Promoter: Canelo Wants 65-35, We Want Fair 50-50 Split! Photos: Kal Yafai Drops David Carmona Five Times For TKO Win Photos: Argenis Mendez Wins, Decks Eddie Ramirez Four Times Photos: King Tug Demolishes Oscar Escandon - Knockdown Fest Jayr Raquinel Blasts Out Shun Kosaka To Retain OPBF Title Roman Gonzalez vs. Kal Yafai Could Be Next, Says Eddie Hearn Golden Boy Prez: Golovkin Rematch is Dead, Ridiculous Demands! Oscar Valdez Calls on AIBA To Bring Back Old Rules, Train Judges Manzanilla Shocks Julio Ceja, Costs Him Mandatory Title Shot David Lemieux Sends Achour Down, Punishes Him For Decision Argenis Mendez Drops Eddie Ramirez Four Times, Wins Decision Jerwin Ancajas Decisions Jonas Sultan, Retains IBF Title Tugstsogt Nyambayar Drops Oscar Escandon 5 Times, TKO in 3 Jerwin Ancajas vs. Jonas Sultan - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Kal Yafai Drops, Stops David Carmona in Seven Rounds Kal Yafai vs. David Carmona - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Shawn Porter: I'll Fight Danny Garcia Wherever He Wants Jerwin Ancajas-Jonas Sultan Undercard Results From Fresno Hearn: Joshua vs. Povetkin Discussions Are Ongoing Yafai: 'Absolute Joke' How Heavy Carmona Came in for Our Fight Horn's Trainer: Crawford is Just a Man, Horn Beat a Legend! Naoya Inoue Eyes More Titles: I Hope To Win Whole WBSS! Adonis Stevenson: Mayweather Tricked Us With The Officials! Ricky Burns Will Return on June 16th in Newcastle Kal Yafai: I'm Ready to Take Out the Champs, One After Another Photos: Naoya Inoue Destroys Jamie McDonnell in One Round Golovkin Promoter Explains GGG's Position: He Wants Fair Split! De La Hoya To Golovkin: Go Fight Derevyancheko For $1 Million! Daily Bread Mailbag: Loma vs. Tank, Mikey Garcia, Russell, More Jamie McDonnell Confirms He Will Move Up After KO Loss
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement