According to Sal Rodriguez, 19 million viewers tuned in in Mexico to catch Julio Cesar Chavez's win on Saturday night over Marco Antonio Rubio.
This is, obviously a fantastic number. It's not quite on the level of the record-setting Pacquiao vs Marquez number in November (33 million), but then what is?
It's also a bit below reported numbers for Canelo Alvarez, who seems to have become a more natural superstar in Mexico, while Chavez still mostly trades on his father's famous name. Canelo did a reported 24 million against Matthew Hatton last year, while Chavez did 18 million in November against Peter Manfredo Jr, and now 19 million with a fellow Mexican fighter as his opponent.
Both Chavez and Alvarez did strong numbers last year on HBO, putting them at or very near the top of the pack for HBO regulars. They've become as strong a ratings pull in the U.S. as anyone, basically, when you're talking about the non-PPV (non-Manny, non-Floyd) fighters.
So if you ever wonder why these guys are favored in some ways, always keep this in mind: They draw fans both at the gate and on TV. People tune in to watch them fight. It's really that simple.