<
>

The top 30 premium cable bouts of 2016

Gennady Golovkin's demolition of Dominic Wade in April was the most-watched boxing fight on premium cable television in 2016. AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

The end of 51-year-old Bernard Hopkins’ legendary career, which came with him getting punched out of the ring in an eighth round knockout loss to light heavyweight contender Joe Smith Jr. on Saturday night at The Forum in Inglewood, California, averaged 934,000 viewers for the live airing on HBO, according to Nielsen Media Research.

That figure made the fight the sixth most-viewed bout on premium cable in 2016. The fight peaked during the eighth round at 1.035 million viewers.

The co-feature, featherweight up-and-comer Joseph Diaz Jr.’s decision win against Horacio Garcia, averaged 644,000 viewers with a peak of 707,000. The opener -- cruiserweight titlist Oleksandr Usyk’s first defense and American debut against Thabiso Mchunu -- averaged 560,000 viewers and peaked at 645,00.

With the books now closed on the premium cable boxing year here is a look at the top 30 most-viewed bouts measured by average number of viewers per bout:

1. Gennady Golovkin-Dominic Wade (April 23): 1.325 million (HBO World Championship Boxing)

2. Sergey Kovalev-Jean Pascal II (Jan. 30): 1.179 million (HBO WCB)

3. Andre Ward-Sullivan Barrera (March 26): 1.064 million (HBO WCB)

4. Roman Gonzalez-McWilliams Arroyo (April 23): 1.001 million (HBO WCB)

5. Terence Crawford-Hank Lundy (Feb. 27): 980,000 (HBO WCB)

6. Hopkins-Smith (Dec. 17): 934,000 (HBO WCB)

7. Felix Verdejo-William Silva (Feb. 27): 886,000 (HBO WCB)

8. Golovkin-Kell Brook (Sept. 10): 843,000 (HBO WCB, live afternoon telecast)

9. Kovalev-Ward PPV replay debut (Nov. 26): 834,000

10. Gonzalez-Carlos Cuadras (Sept. 10): 833,000 (HBO WCB)

T10. Francisco Vargas-Orlando Salido (June 4): 833,000 (HBO Boxing After Dark)

12. Crawford-John Molina Jr. (Dec. 10): 806,000 (HBO WCB)

13. Canelo Alvarez-Amir Khan PPV replay debut (May 14): 767,000 (HBO WCB)

14. Vasyl Lomachenko-Nicholas Walters (Nov. 26): 761,000 (HBO WCB)

15. Diaz Jr.-Jayson Velez (March 26): 756,000 (HBO WCB)

16. Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley III PPV replay debut (April 16): 750,000 (HBO WCB)

17. Ward-Alexander Brand (Aug. 6): 742,000 (HBO BAD)

18. Luis Ortiz-Tony Thompson (March 5): 740,000 (HBO BAD)

19. Jessie Vargas-Sadam Ali (March 5): 726,000 (HBO BAD)

20. Dmitry Mikhaylenko-Karim Mayfield (Jan. 30): 701,000 (HBO WCB)

21. Yoshihiro Kamegai-Jesus Soto Karass (Sept. 10): 667,000 (HBO WCB)

22. Abraham Lopez-Julian Ramirez (June 4): 649,000 (HBO BAD)

23. Diaz Jr.-Horacio Garcia (Dec. 17): 644,000 (HBO WCB)

24. Raymundo Beltran-Mason Menard (Dec. 10): 636,000 (HBO WCB)

25. Golovkin-Brook (Sept. 10): 593,000 (HBO WCB, primetime replay)

26. Lomachenko-Roman Martinez (June 11): 585,000 (HBO BAD)

27. Usyk-Mchunu (Dec. 17): 560,000 (HBO WCB)

28. Joseph Parker-Andy Ruiz Jr. (Dec. 10): 521,000 (HBO WCB)

29. Verdejo-Juan Jose Martinez (Dec. 11): 513,000 (HBO BAD)

30. Deontay Wilder-Artur Szpilka (Jan. 16): 500,000 (Showtime Championship Boxing)