Crawford-Jean averages 1.071M viewers on HBO; Golovkin-Lemieux 797K average in replay
By Dan Ambrose: In a sign that WBO light welterweight champion Terence Crawford (27-0, 19 KOs) might not be a good option for Manny Pacquiao’s April 9th fight, Crawford’s fight last Saturday against #6 WBO Dierry Jean (29-2, 20 KOs) averaged only 1.071 million with a peak of 1.2 million on HBO Championship Boxing, according to Dan Rafael.
The Crawford vs. Jean fight did only slightly better than the replay of the Gennady Golovkin vs. David Lemieux fight on HBO, which brought in an average of 797,000 viewers with a peak of 1 million. The co-feature replay of Roman Gonzalez vs. Brian Viloria averaged 505,000 with a peak of 685,000.
It’s quite likely that the only reason the Crawford-Jean fight brought in 1.071 million viewers on HBO was because it had the Golovkin vs. Lemieux replay on right before it. There were a lot of boxing fans who didn’t get a chance to see the fight the previous week on HBO PPV, and this was their chance to see the fight for free on regular HBO. The fans likely tuned in to see the Golovkin-Lemieux fight card, and then continued to watch afterwards as the Crawford vs. Jean card came on. That wasn’t much of a card.
What this means is that Crawford isn’t a big draw on HBO, and clearly not a big enough draw to create much interest in a Pacquiao vs. Crawford fight next year. I’m not sure that Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum really cares about ratings when it comes to matching one of his own Top Rank stable fighters against Pacquiao.
Arum obviously realizes that the 28-year-old Crawford doesn’t have a big fan and doesn’t bring in huge ratings. He’s hoping to increase his popularity by putting him in with Pacquiao like he’s done in the past with his other Top Rank stable fighters like Brandon Rios, Tim Bradley [x 2], Juan Manuel Marquez [x 4], Shane Mosley, Miguel Cotto and Joshua Clottey.
Of Arum’s fighters in his Top Rank stable in the 140 to 147lb weight, Crawford is one of the few who haven’t gotten a crack at Pacquiao. The others are Viktor Postol, Jessie Vargas and Jose Benavidez.
It’s easy to understand why the Crawford-Jean fight didn’t bring in good ratings because it wasn’t a good match-up to begin with. For Crawford to bring in good ratings, he needs to be matched against the likes of Viktor Postol, Lamont Peterson, Lucas Matthysse or Ruslan Provodnikov.
Crawford isn’t going to bring in big ratings fighting guys like Jean and Thomas Dulorme. I’m not sure why Arum isn’t matching him against better fighters in the 140lb division. I can understand why he’s not matching him against guys like Peterson and Matthysse, because those are with other promoters, but Arum could at least match Crawford against Postol.
It doesn’t matter if Crawford gets a fight against Pacquiao or not. Crawford isn’t going to be a popular fighter in the future if Arum is going to be putting him in with the less than popular fighters. If all Arum ends up doing is matching Crawford against the likes of Benavidez, Jessie Vargas and maybe Rios, then I don’t think he’s going to become a star even if he does face Pacquiao next April.