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Santa Cruz vs. Frampton averaged 480K viewers on Showtime

Carl Frampton Leo Santa Cruz Terence Crawford

By Dan Ambrose: Leo Santa Cruz vs. Carl Frampton fought it out last Saturday night in a contest on Showtime Championship Boxing from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The fight averaged 480,000 viewers with a peak of 549,000, according to ESPN. While those numbers don’t compare to boxing that is shown on the free networks, they are good ratings for Showtime.

The Santa Cruz-Frampton fight brought Showtime’s highest rated fight on the network in 2016 up until now. The co-feature bout between former two division world champion Mikey Garcia and Elio Rojas brought in good ratings as well in averaging 427,000 viewers. The IBF junior middleweight title eliminator bout between Tony Harrison and Sergey Rabchenko averaged 299,000 viewers.

The scoring for the Santa Cruz vs. Frampton fight left a lot to be desired. Frampton was given a 12 round majority decision win. The judges scored the fight 114-114, 117-111 and 116-112. However, there are many boxing fans who felt that Santa Cruz should have won or at the very least he should have been given a draw. WBC welterweight champion Danny Garcia saw the fight as a draw. I personally scored the fight in Santa Cruz’s favor nine rounds to three on first viewing, and then eight rounds to four in the second time I saw the fight.

I couldn’t give the decision to Frampton because he totally collapsed in the second half of the fight in losing every round from the 7th. Frampton was retreating constantly and getting outworked. Indeed, Santa Cruz out-landed and out-punched Frampton. He also appeared to land the harder shots. Normally that would mean that he would be given the decision, but not in this case. That’s why I think the judges did a poor job of scoring the fight because the wrong guy got the victory in my opinion.

There will be a rematch between Santa Cruz and Frampton at some point in time. Santa Cruz reportedly has a rematch clause in his contract with Frampton, so we should see the two of them face each other before the end of the year unless a deal is worked out to let Frampton take a fight in between then. It’s in Santa Cruz’s best interest not to let Frampton get away without fighting him next, because Frampton could get beaten by someone else.

It also hurts Santa Cruz to have to live with an un-avenged defeat on his resume. It’s better for Santa Cruz to get back into the ring as soon as possible and beat Frampton in the rematch. Santa Cruz knows how to beat Frampton now by fighting hard for all 12 rounds by pressuring him. There’s not much Frampton can do to avoid a loss to Santa Cruz in the rematch because he has shaky stamina and he struggles when pressured hard.

The Santa Cruz vs. Frampton telecast had competition on HBO Boxing on the same night with them showing a replay of the light welterweight unification match between WBO champion Terence Crawford and WBC champ Viktor Postol. The Crawford-Postol fight averaged 378,000 viewers on HBO. The fight took place on July 23 on HBO pay-per-view. The number of PPV buys still hasn’t been released by Top Rank or HBO for the Crawford vs. Postol card. It’s unclear whether there will ever be an official release of the buys.

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