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Rios-Chaves & Kovalev-Caparello brings in less than impressive ratings on HBO

Brandon RiosBy Dan Ambrose: HBO’s triple-header last Saturday night with Diego Chaves facing Brandon Rios, Sergey Kovalev fighting Blake Caparello and Antonio Novkov battling Jessie Vargas, brought in decent ratings for HBO, but far from the number of viewers they’ve seen in past fight cards.

The Rios vs. Chaves fight averaged 936 thousand viewers, making it the 13th most watched fight in 2014, according to Dan Rafael of ESPN. Being the 13th most watched fight on U.S television this year isn’t a good thing. It tells you that Top Rank should have placed the Rios-Chaves fight on an undercard instead of having it as a main event.

“Rios-Chaves averaged 936k viewers (13th-most 2014 US TV fight). Peak 1.003M. Vargas-Novikov averaged 728k viewers. Peaked at 839k,” Rafael said on his twitter.

The Rios vs. Chaves fight had the potential to be a good undercard fight if they had placed it on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao’s next fight against Chris Algieri on November 22nd. But that wouldn’t happen though with Rios getting a huge payday of $925,000.

There’s no way that the co-feature guy like Rios could be getting that kind of money to fight on Pacquiao’s undercard because the lions’ share of the purses have been going to Pacquiao. There might not be enough money left over to give Rios the kind of payday that he got last Saturday night.

Rafael said “Kovalev-Caparello averaged 990k viewers on @HBOboxing live airing, 8th-most viewed US fight in ’14. Peaked at 1.052M. Kovalev-Caparello slightly down from Kovalev-Agnew (1.006M) but that was main event, not undercard of HBO boxing broadcast.”

It’s not surprising that the Kovalev vs. Caparello fight didn’t bring in huge ratings because it wasn’t a great match-up. Caparello is an unknown in the U.S among casual boxing fans, and he wasn’t given much of any chance by the hardcore fans that paid attention to this fight. Kovalev’s next bout against IBF/WBA light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins will do a lot better.

Bob Arum of Top Rank will likely match Rios against one of the following fighters in his next bout: Tim Bradley, Mike Alvarado or Ruslan Provodnikov. That’ll bring in better ratings, but I have a feeling that Rios will get beaten again like he was getting beaten last Saturday night Chaves.

Rios was lucky against Chaves that he had referee Vic Drakulich working the fight, because if he had a referee that was more hands off, the fight would have gone to the cards those point deductions from Chaves wouldn’t have been there.


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