It wasn't a marquee attraction, but last Saturday night's HBO Boxing After Dark doubleheader headlined by Sergey Kovalev vs Cedric Agnew pulled in one million viewers on HBO, according to Nielsen.
Kovalev (24-0-1, 22 KO) smashed Agnew (26-1, 13 KO) in the main event, knocking him out in the seventh round of a dominant performance. The fight peaked at 1.048 million viewers, and the broadcast average was 1.006 million viewers. The fight also faced stiff sports competition on cable, was the Wisconsin-Arizona NCAA basketball tournament game -- a nail-biter that went into overtime -- averaged a record 9.9 million viewers on TBS, highest ever for a college basketball game on cable.
The 1.006 million average is third-best for a boxing broadcast on cable in 2014, which of course is just barely getting started. It's an encouraging sign for Kovalev, who is being positioned as an HBO headline fighter, as Agnew was a total unknown coming into the fight, and Kovalev had never been in an HBO main event.