Chris Algieri's stirring and controversial split-decision victory against Ruslan Provodnikov on Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, drew a strong audience, perhaps making it more likely we will see a rematch later this year.
According to Nielsen Media Research, the bout was the third-most viewed on cable so far in 2014. The live, first-time airing averaged 1.046 million viewers to HBO, ranking only behind two other HBO-televised fights, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.-Bryan Vera II and Juan Manuel Marquez-Mike Alvarado. Algieri-Provodnikov peaked at 1.110 million viewers.
The top seven cable fights in 2014 have all been on HBO.
Provodnikov and his trainer, Hall of Famer Freddie Roach, both said after the fight that they are interested in a rematch of a fight that many thought Provodnikov (who scored two knockdowns in the first round and badly damaged Algieri's right eye) won.
Artie Pelullo told ESPN.com that there is a rematch clause in the contract that is at his "sole discretion" and that he and Provodnikov will talk about what they want to do. Based on the viewership figures and the bout's entertainment value, HBO figures to be interested.
The overall HBO telecast averaged 954,000 viewers, making it the network's most-watched edition of "Boxing After Dark" so far this year.
Demetrius Andrade's seventh-round knockout of Brian Rose to retain a junior middleweight title averaged 882,000 viewers.
The telecast opened with a replay of the previous week's Miguel Cotto-Sergio Martinez middleweight championship fight on HBO PPV. The replay averaged 970,000 viewers and peaked at 1.126 million.