Gennady Golovkin's star is definitely on the rise, as 1.3 million viewers tuned in for the live, first-time airing of his win over Marco Antonio Rubio this past Saturday night on HBO, according to Nielsen.
Golovkin (31-0, 28 KO) smashed Rubio in the second round of another electric performance at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. The fight was also attended very well, as over 9,000 fans packed the arena for Golovkin's West Coast debut. Some of that live draw may be attributed to Nonito Donaire, though, who lost in the co-feature to Nicholas Walters.
The Donaire-Walters fight drew 1.1 million viewers on TV.
Golovkin-Rubio was the second-highest rating for a fight on cable TV in 2014, behind Julio Cesar Chavez Jr's rematch with Bryan Vera in March, which drew 1.39 million viewers. All ten of the top-performing fights on cable this year have been HBO fights, and 13 of the top 15.
Golovkin's last fight with Daniel Geale did 984,000 viewers, so this is a sizable increase. Hopefully, The Haters will point to the presence of Bernard Hopkins in a fight-following "24/7" episode that wasn't exactly overly hyped as the main reason this happened, because it'd be a real drag if we just admitted Golovkin has naturally and rightfully become a star fighter.