Was it because of competition with the NBA playoffs or restless fans turning away from an uneventful main event? According to Yahoo! Sports' Kevin Iole, Showtime's main event this past Saturday night of Bernard Hopkins - Beibut Shumenov drew a rating of 760 thousand viewers, below average for a Hopkins fight. The 49 year-old beltholder's last bout against Karo Murat in October did 999 thousand, nearly a quarter of a million more.
The highest rated fight of the night actually belonged to Shawn Porter's destruction of Paulie Malignaggi, which brought in 897 thousand viewers. The opener, a rancid middleweight matchup between Peter Quillin and Lukas Konecny, did 622 thousand.
Also of note was HBO's replay of the rematch between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley. It drew a viewership of only 689 thousand, down from the 1.3 million the replay of their first fight did. However, their first replay was also paired with the Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. - Andy Lee fight. Chavez is a proven TV draw, and was likely the chief reason why that show drew such a solid rating.
It's odd that the chief supporting bout gets a higher audience than the main event. I'm sure that competition with the NBA playoffs meant something, but the Hopkins fight caused the show to lose 137 thousand members of its audience. That's a surprising number when Hopkins, a proven TV draw, is in the main event. Hopkins has never been a good pay-per-view A-side, but he has drawn well recently on premium cable. It makes me wonder if the public didn't buy into his fight with Shumenov, a 16-fight "champion" who didn't belong in the ring with one of the best boxers of the past 30 years.
Recap: Pac-Bradley replay 689. BHop win 760k; Porter fight, 897k; Quillin, 622k— Kevin Iole (@KevinI) April 22, 2014