Andre Ward and Chad Dawson delivered average HBO numbers and a solid live gate in Oakland this past weekend. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Last Saturday night's HBO World Championship Boxing main event between Andre Ward and Chad Dawson at Oakland's Oracle Arena did solid numbers on TV and at the gate.
1.3 million watched the fight on HBO on Saturday, which is, to best of my knowledge, right about average for recent WCB fights -- nothing special, but also avoids being one of those true turd in the punch bowl results.
The California State Athletic Commission had its own Rocky story on the night, coming back from the brink of death to finally post some solid figures for a fight in the state. The event sold 7,611 tickets at Oracle Arena, for a gate of $706,469. 1,308 tickets were comped to pad the crowd a little bit, but for recent California cards, that's nothing.
It's definitely not some big hit. The gate number is pretty good, and it will be interesting to see if Ward uses that as a reason to stay at the building going forward until someone can make him leave again, but the TV number is ... well, it's adequate, let's put it that way. I wouldn't be surprised if there was some internal disappointment at HBO, no matter what they might say.
Keep in mind also that the fight did have Vitali Klitschko as a lead-in, which may or may not have been any kind of factor. It certainly didn't make this more than an average show, and Ward's performance was such that I would think he did create some return viewers from the pool of curious casual fans. The hope now will be that that's the case, that Ward is breaking through to a true star level as an attraction.