Last Saturday's fight between Wladimir Klitschko and Kubrat Pulev did 620,000 viewers on average for its live afternoon airing, which combined with the midnight replay later gave the fight 1.02 million viewers. The afternoon broadcast peaked at 694,000 viewers, according to Nielsen.
Klitschko (63-3, 53 KO) has just signed a new deal with HBO, and this was the first fight of that agreement. He knocked out Pulev (20-1, 11 KO) in the fifth round, having dominated him the entire fight and dropped him repeatedly in a one-sided and pretty exciting performance for the reigning heavyweight champion, who once again simply proved a class above his competition.
This was a better number than Klitschko's last HBO appearance in October 2013, when he beat Alexander Povetkin. 534,000 tuned in for that fight on the HBO live viewing.
It's expected that Wladimir will return to the ring in the spring, and Philadelphia's Bryant Jennings appears the lead candidate to face him, with that fight possibly happening in the United States, which would give Klitschko a live prime time slot instead of an afternoon window from Germany. Klitschko has not fought on U.S. soil since February 2008, when he routed Sultan Ibragimov at Madison Square Garden.