The much-anticipated rubber match between welterweight rivals Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado on Saturday night in Broomfield, Colorado, was a complete dud in the ring as a well-prepared Rios blew out an ill-prepared Alvarado, who quit after the third round. But the fight performed well for HBO in terms of viewership.
The first HBO card of 2015 drew an average audience of 1.252 million viewers for the live, first-time airing, according to Nielsen Media Research. The fight peaked at 1.315 million viewers.
The fight was the most watched of the trilogy, whose first two installments, also on HBO, produced classic slugfests.
The first fight, which Rios won by seventh-round knockout in October 2012 on the Nonito Donaire-Toshiaki Nishioka undercard, averaged 816,000 viewers from Carson, California. The immediate rematch in Las Vegas in March 2013 averaged 1.182 million viewers.
Saturday night’s co-feature, Mexican super middleweight Gilberto Ramirez’s hard-fought 10-round decision win against Russia’s Maxim Vlasov, averaged 820,000 viewers, peaking at 946,000. Both boxers were making their HBO debuts.