By Phil Smith: The numbers are in and it’s all good news for Amir Khan. His showdown with Devon Alexander averaged 762k viewers on Showtime with a peak at 887k. Across town, at the Cosmopolitan, the Bradley did averaged 966k with a peak at 1M viewers. How is that good news for Khan?
HBO has several millions subscribers more than Showtime and yet, the difference between the two cards in terms of viewers was 125k. That means that a higher percentage of Showtime subscribers were interested in watching Khan as opposed to a lower percentage of HBO subscribers tuning in for the Bradley fight. If it was reversed, Khan would have probably averaged 1.5M on HBO.
Khan has two other major networks backing him up : Sky Sports and BeIN Sports. The British giant broadcasted the fight live in the UK while BeIN Sports aired the bout in the Middle-East, North Africa and France. In addition to that, the fight was shown in Pakistan, India and other markets, which brings huge international revenues to Showtime; something no other fighter can brag about which the exceptions of Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.
In boxing, you are as good as your last fight. Amir Khan’s last fights were less than thrilling due the weak opposition he faced after the Garcia loss and the lackluster performances he delivered. Therefore, the public and the critics did not have high expectations for his fight against Alexander and most, if not all, were betting on a clear loss at the hands of Devon. The dominant and spectacular win had against Alexander has changed everything for Amir. He simply resurrected his career and got fans and critics viewing him as a top welterweight and the biggest threat to Mayweather, more so than Pacquiao! That might sound incredible but it’s a fact! Anyone following boxing and serious boxing media and analysts know that after Saturday night, Amir Khan is the man of the hour. All it took was a solid win against a top welterweight -yes, Alexander is elite- and the fact that Virgil Hunter improved Khan’s ring IQ and defense. Having partially corrected those mistakes, the public and critics got to witness and be amazed by Khan’s lightening speed and boxing skills.
The attendance at the MGM Garden Arena was 7,768. This is the exact number, not the 4,000 Floyd Mayweather mentioned in a recent interview. To have more than 7,000 people attend your fight despite a competing card headlined by a pound four pound welterweight and the fact that you just through a two years rebuilding process with nothing worth mentioning is pretty impressive for Khan.
Amir Khan is a reborn fighter at the 147 division. Two fights, two wins. One solid victory against Collazo and one impressive display of speed, skills and movement against Alexander. His stock went up dramatically overnight and fans and critics are anticipating his next fight which will bring in huge numbers in the U.S and overseas. Khan, thanks to move up in weight is stronger and with Hunter by his side is improving and more focused with each fight. His journey at welterweight has just began and there is no telling how high he will go.