Bradley-Provodnikov delivers 1.2 mil viewers on HBO + 274K on replay next day
By Chris Williams: Bob Arum can’t say WBO welterweight champion Tim Bradley (30-0, 12 KO’s) can’t draw good ratings now because his fight last Saturday night against Ruslan Provodnikov (22-2, 15 KO’s) delivered a huge 1.2 million viewers on HBO, according to RingTV. That’s not all.
The next day, Bradley vs. Provodnikov pulled in 274,000 fans to see it on replay on HBO, which outside the Bernard Hopkins vs. Tavorius Cloud fight on replay. The 1.2 million viewers that saw the Bradley-Provodnikov fight was identical to the numbers that the Hopkins vs. Cloud fight drew on HBO.
That’s pretty impressive because Bradley has never been considered to be a fighter that attracted high ratings, and the same goes for Provodnikov, who’s fights have been limited to ESPN2. But it could be that Bradley having had his last fight against the popular but aging Manny Pacquiao last year in June was enough to increase Bradley’s fan base or at least increase the amount of boxing fans that wanted to see Bradley fight.
Obviously, not all the people that wanted to see Bradley fight were fans of him. Like myself, I just was curious to see how he’d look after having beaten Pacquiao by a controversial decision in his previous fight on HBO.
Bradley didn’t escape controversy with the Provodnikov fight because he was knocked down in the 12th, and he appeared to be dropped in the 1st, and as badly hurt in that round, the 2nd and the 6th without any of those three rounds being ruled a 10-8 round.
Provodnikov won five rounds in the fight – 1st, 2nd, 6th, 11th and 12th rounds. However, one of the judges gave Bradley the 11th round despite that being a clear round for Provodnikov in the eyes of many boxing fans. The final judges’ scores were 115-112, 114-113 and 114-113.
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