Boxing: GGG vs Martirosyan becomes the top rated premium cable fight of the year

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The Viewership numbers for Gennady Golovkin vs Vanes Martirosyan are in and it has delivered monster ratings and is the most watched Boxing fight of the year so far on the premium network. Despite the fight only lasting 2 rounds, it didn’t stop over 1.3 Million viewers to tune in to watch GGG get a spectacular knockout.

Nielsen Media Research ratings released Tuesday showed a peak audience of 1,361,000 watched Golovkin’s second-round knockout of Vanes Martirosyan, which HBO televised from StubHub Center in Carson, California. The brief Golovkin-Martirosyan match was watched by an average of 1,249,000 viewers, despite that it began late on the East Coast (12:07 a.m. ET). Amongst the 1,361,000 viewers who tuned in 645,000 viewers were from 18-49 age group and delivered 0.67 ratings.

GGG vs. Vanes drew the highest average viewership for a live HBO boxing fight since April 23, 2016: Golovkin vs. Wade, which did 1.325 million viewers. It was the first time a boxing fight drew an average of more than a million people since Golovkin vs. Wade. No fight on HBO averaged a million viewers. Closest one was May 20, 2017: Crawford vs. Diaz which did 961,000 viewers. The last time HBO had a viewership this high was for a non-GGG fight was June 6, 2015: Cotto vs. Geale which did 1.589 million viewers. While GGG vs. Vanes was great for 2017-2018 HBO, it would only be a decent number in years past. From 2014-2016, 8 boxing fights on HBO attracted a higher average viewership than GGG vs. Vanes. Out of those 8 fights, GGG fought in 3 of them.

The unbeaten IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion was supposed to face Alvarez again Saturday night in a high-profile, pay-per-view rematch. Mexico’s Alvarez (49-1-2, 34 KOs) withdrew from their second bout April 3 because his handlers learned that the Nevada State Athletic Commission would extend his temporary suspension for failing two performance-enhancing drug tests in February.

The NSAC suspended Alvarez for six months April 18 at its monthly meeting in Las Vegas. Alvarez claims contaminated meat was the source of him testing positive for clenbuterol.

Martirosyan (36-4-1, 21 KOs), of Glendale, California, took this very difficult fight on only 2½ weeks’ notice. Golovkin was a 30-1 favorite over him in large part because Martirosyan moved up from junior middleweight and hadn’t fought in nearly two years.

The opener of HBO’s doubleheader Saturday night, Cecilia Braekhus’ win against Kali Reis also attracted strong viewership (peak: 1,024,000; average: 904,000).

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