By Andrew L. John, MYDESERT.COM
Some were already calling it the fight of the year. Now that the television ratings are in, perhaps there’s even more validity to that claim.
Timothy Bradley Jr.’s live 12-round slugfest with Russian brawler Ruslan Provodnikov drew 1.4 million HBO viewers at its peak Saturday, according to Nielsen Media Research.
Bradley, the world welterweight champion from Cathedral City, endured a dangerously difficult first two rounds and a flurry of punches to hold on to win by unanimous decision.
Likely spurred by the immense post-fight social media stir, another 274,000 viewers caught the HBO encore replay Sunday morning.
In terms of ratings, the fight ranks as one of the top four televised boxing events of the year. The ratings matched the much-anticipated Bernard Hopkins-Tavoris Cloud fight for the IBF light heavyweight title a week earlier in Brooklyn, N.Y.
But not nearly as many watched the encore replay of the Hopkins-Tavoris fight. In fact, 57 percent more caught the replay of the Bradley fight.