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Joshua-Takam averages 334K viewers on Showtime

Anthony Joshua

By Eric Thomas: IBF/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua’s fight against Carlos Takam last Saturday night brought in less than spectacular ratings on Showtime World Championship Boxing in the U.S.

The U.S boxing fans were less than excited about tuning in to watch Joshua’s bout against replacement opponent Takam. For the live showing, the Joshua-Takam fight pulled in an average of just 334,000 viewers on Showtime with a peak of 361,000 viewers, according to Dan Rafael. Later in the evening, on the Showtime replay, Joshua-Takam averaged 309,000 viewers with a peak of 376,000.

The unbeaten Joshua (20-0, 20 KOs) stopped the 36-year-old Takam (35-4-1, 27 KOs) in the 10th round at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. 78,000 boxing fans turned out to see Joshua, weighing a career high of 254 pounds, plod around the ring, gasping for breath at times, and looking very sluggish. The end of the fight came with a whimper, as the referee Phil Edwards stepped in and prematurely stopped the contest at the first sign of trouble in round 10.

Takam looked only slightly hurt, but it didn’t matter. Edwards halted the fight anyway, and he was rewarded with his early premature stoppage by a chorus of boos from the angry boxing fans. The fans wanted to see the fight play out to the conclusion, and the referee prevented that from happening by hastily jumping in between the two fighters and stopping the fight.

The results of Joshua’s ratings for last Saturday’s Showtime broadcast reveal an alarming trend. Instead of Joshua getting more popular with each fight that is shown in the States, he seems to be getting less popular.

Joshua’s first fight televised on Showtime against Eric Molina last December averaged 368,000 viewers with a peak of 390,000. That fight did better numbers than last Saturday’s contest against Takam. Joshua’s second fight on Showtime against former heavyweight world champion Wladimir Klitschko on April 29th of this year averaged 659,000, with a peak of 763,000. The fight was also shown on HBO Championship Boxing on the same night on tape delay and it averaged 738,000 viewers with a peak of 890,000.

It’s understandable that Joshua’s fight against replacement opponent Takam would do far fewer numbers than the Joshua-Klitschko fight, considering that it wasn’t hyped nearly as much, and it was a replacement opponent. Never the less, it’s disturbing that the Joshua-Takam fight did worse numbers than Joshua’s first fight of his Showtime contract against Eric Molina last December. The downward trend of Joshua’s ratings for Showtime suggests that he’s not becoming more popular in the U.S. Showtime will have to decide whether it’s in their best interest to keep pouring money into having Joshua’s fights from overseas piped into the States.

Thus far, the U.S boxing fans are showing that they’re not all that excited at tuning in to watch Joshua’s fights on Showtime. Whether Joshua’s popularity will increase of not is debatable. The important question Showtime must ask themselves is whether it’s worth it to keep televising Joshua’s fights to the American audience if the fans aren’t thrilled at watching him.

It might be better for Showtime to sign someone that the U.S boxing public is more interested in watching. There are a lot of good fighters in the U.S that bring in a lot of entertainment like Mikey Garcia and Jermell Charlo, and it could be in Showtime’s best interest to focus on those fighters.

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