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Bradley-Vargas does solid ratings for HBO

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This past weekend's HBO card headlined by Bradley-Vargas averaged 1.121 million viewers according to Nielsen.

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Boxing seems to be trending upwards in the ratings department this year, and there are probably a number of contributing factors behind that. Mayweather-Pacquiao undoubtedly brought boxing into the limelight the world over, Al Haymon brought the sport back to network television, and there were also just some pretty good fights made this year.

Last weekend's fight between Tim Bradley and Jessie Vargas on HBO averaged 1.121 million viewers according to Nielsen Media Research, topping out at 1.228 million. This represents about a 16% increase over Bradley's last fight with Diego Chaves this past December. Overall, that puts Bradley-Vargas as the 9th highest rated fight on premium cable television this year, with HBO owning 9 of the top 10 most watched fights on premium cable (led by Alvarez-Kirkland). Halfway through the year, the top 10 rated fights on premium TV looks like this.

1. Canelo Alvarez-James Kirkland (2.146 million on May 9, HBO)
2. Wladimir Klitschko-Bryant Jennings (1.637 million on April 25, HBO)
3. Miguel Cotto-Daniel Geale (1.589 million on June 6, HBO)
4. Gennady Golovkin-Willie Monroe Jr. (1.338 million on May 16, HBO)
5. Brandon Rios-Mike Alvarado III (1.252 million on Jan. 24, HBO)
6. Lucas Matthysse-Ruslan Provodnikov (1.243 million on April 18, HBO)
7. Deontay Wilder-Bermane Stiverne (1.238 million on Jan. 17, Showtime)
8. Sergey Kovalev-Jean Pascal (1.152 million on March 14, HBO)
9. Timothy Bradley Jr.-Jessie Vargas (1.121 million on June 27, HBO)
10. Terence Crawford-Thomas Dulorme (1.004 million on April 18, HBO)

It pretty much goes without saying but Showtime is clearly getting it handed to them and Stephen Espinoza obviously has his work cut out for him. For his sake, I really hope he isn't just waiting around for Al Haymon to fulfill his so-called promise to bring his stars back to Showtime once they've upped their profile on network television.

Do you think boxing will be able to ride it's current wave in ratings, or will these numbers start to regress as we drift further and further away from May-Pac which captured the world's attention?