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Ríos vs Alvarado III does 1.25 million viewers for HBO

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Brandon Ríos and Mike Alvarado delivered strong numbers for HBO on Saturday night.

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HBO boxing got off to a fast start for 2015 with their first televised card of the year, at least in the ratings. The headline bout between Mike Alvarado and Brandon Ríos peaked at 1.316 million viewers, according to Nielsen, and averaged 1.252 million.

Their second fight in 2013 did an average of 1.182 million viewers, so this was their biggest fight to date in terms of viewers. The first fight in 2012 did 816,000 as a co-feature attraction.

This time, the co-feature between Gilberto Ramirez and Maxim Vlasov did a peak of 946,000 with an average of 820,000.

Ríos (33-2-1, 24 KO) dominated Alvarado (34-4, 21 KO) this time around, stopping him after three rounds of one-way action, while Ramirez improved to 31-0 (24 KO) with a solid if unspectacular decision win over Maxim Vlasov (30-2, 15 KO).

By comparison to these numbers, Showtime's first major card of the year on -- Stiverne vs Wilder on January 17 -- did an average of 1.24 million, and peaked at 1.34 million. It was the fourth-highest rated fight on Showtime ever. The good news is that a pair of interesting and/or attractive matchups both delivered strong numbers on the rival networks to start 2015, and hopefully that trend will stay.

HBO boxing is now off until February 21, when Gennady Golovkin meets Martin Murray in Monte Carlo, with the schedule as always picking up in the spring.