GGG scores HBO's most-watched fight in nearly a year

Golovkin: Canelo is biggest fight right now (1:02)

Unified middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin speaks with Bernardo Osuna about why he wants to fight Canelo Alvarez. (1:02)

Unified middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin’s three-knockdown, second-round destruction of little-known mandatory challenger Dominic Wade on Saturday night at sold-out The Forum in Inglewood, California, was the most-watched of the 11 bouts that have aired on HBO so far this year and its most-watched fight in nearly a year.

The live telecast of Golovkin-Wade averaged 1.325 million viewers and peaked at 1.388 million, according to Nielsen Media Research. It was the network’s most-watched fight since June 6, 2015, when then-middleweight champion Miguel Cotto’s fourth-round knockout of Daniel Geale averaged 1.589 million viewers.

Although the fight aired during a free HBO preview weekend, those viewers who watched because of the free preview do not count in Nielsen’s tally.

Just a few days after being introduced as the latest Jordan Brand athlete, Golovkin retained his title for the 16th consecutive time and scored his 22nd consecutive knockout.

“We’re very happy with these ratings for Gennady, which have continued to see extraordinary growth since his first fight on HBO in September 2012,” K2 Promotions’ Tom Loeffler said. “As he continues to sell out arenas in America and garner the top sponsorships in boxing with the Jordan Brand, Apple, Tecate, Bijan and Samsung, among others, it’s clear that Gennady is one of the most marketable fighters in the world.

“Selling out arenas in New York City and Los Angeles is very rare for a boxer, but Gennady continues to transcend the sport of boxing as he crosses over to the mainstream.”

In the opening bout, pound-for-pound king Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez fought in a Golovkin co-feature for the third straight time and made his fourth flyweight world title defense. He won a lopsided decision against McWilliams Arroyo that averaged 1.001 million viewers (1.14 million peak), which bettered his network debut against Edgar Sosa last May (961,000 average).

“Roman performed in spectacular fashion and with this rating proved that he is more than capable of headlining his own show,” Loeffler said. “We look forward to working with HBO and co-promoter (Akihiko) Honda of Teiken Promotions on putting together his next world title defense.”

Golovkin was fighting live on HBO for the ninth time. Here’s a look at the average viewership for each of his network fights in chronological order:

  • Grzegorz Proksa (Sept. 1, 2012): 685,000

  • Gabriel Rosado (Jan. 19, 2013): 813,000

  • Matthew Macklin (June 29, 2013): 1.097 million

  • Curtis Stevens (Nov. 2, 2013): 1.41 million

  • Daniel Geale (July 26, 2014): 984,000

  • Marco Antonio Rubio (Oct. 18, 2014): 1.304 million

  • Martin Murray (Feb. 21, 2015): 862,000 (aired live in the afternoon from Monte Carlo. Combined with the prime-time replay averaged 1.433 million viewers)

  • Willie Monroe Jr. (May 16, 2015): 1.338 million

    Golovkin’s unification fight against David Lemieux on Oct. 17, 2015, aired on HBO PPV. The replay a week later averaged 797,000 viewers and peaked at 1.043 million viewers.