Thurman vs. Guerrero peaks at 4.2m viewers on NBC in Premier Boxing Champions
By Dan Ambrose: The Premier Boxing Champions card brought in huge ratings last Saturday night on NBC. The card, which was headlined by the bout between WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman (25-0, 21 KOs) and Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (32-3-1, 18 KOs), peaked at 4.2 million viewers, making it the most watched fight broadcast since 1998 when Oscar De La Hoya’s Fight New broadcast on Fox brought in 5.9 million viewers.
The fact that the Thurman-Guerrero card was able to do so well is obviously a great sign for boxing, because it honestly wasn’t that big of a card. None of the three fights on the Premier Boxing Champions card that night were 50-50 propositions.
All the A-side fighters won their fights, as Thurman defeated Guerrero by a 12 round unanimous decision, light welterweight Adrien Broner easily beat a frightened looking John Molina, and featherweight Abner Mares defeated his old sparring partner Arturo Santos Reyes by an easy 10 round decision.
If mismatches like that were able to bring in good ratings, just imagine what a fight card would be like with competitive fights involving bigger names. It would likely bring in huge ratings. However, it’s going to require for Al Haymon, the guy who put the card together, to start looking to make some better fights instead of stacking the card with mismatches.
It would have been a far better card if Haymon had changed things around by matching Broner against Thurman, Mares against someone like Gary Russell Jr, and Guerrero against Paulie Malignaggi or Brandon Rios. Those would be competitive fights, and a lot more interesting than the fights we saw last Saturday.
Thurman defeated Guerrero by the scores of 120-107, 118-109 and 118-109. The fight showed us both the good at the bad of Thurman. His hand speed and power looked good. But his stamina, his inside fighting ability, and his willingness to stay in the pocket were the bad things about Thurman. He needs a lot of improvement if he wants to become a star because he can’t run from his opponents and expect to become a huge star in the future.
Next month NBC will be televising two decent fights between Danny Garcia and Lamont Peterson, and Andy Lee and Peter Quillin. Those fights are a little more competitive on paper than last Saturday’s card, but they still leave a lot to be desired.
Obviously, Garcia will beat Peterson, and Quillin will defeat Lee. A far better card would be a rematch between Garcia and Lucas Matthysse, and a fight between Quillin and WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin.
If Haymon wants to bring in the huge ratings on NBC, he needs to put together some better fights than the ones he’s doing. Even though Garcia has beaten Matthysse already, it’s still easily a much, much better fight than Garcia-Peterson.
Garcia is getting Matthysse’s left overs in facing Peterson, because Matthysse already destroyed Peterson in just three rounds in their fight in May of 2013.
It wasn’t even a fight. Matthysse went through Peterson like he was sliced butter. That’s why it doesn’t make a lot of sense for Haymon to match Garcia against Peterson, because we’re talking about a guy who is seen as a paper champion in the minds of a lot of boxing fans.