Tuesday, March 21, 2023  |



Ward-Kovalev replay peaks at 881,000 viewers

Photo by: Naoki Fukuda

The replay of Andre Ward’s controversial win against Sergey Kovalev last Saturday on HBO lured an average of 834,000 viewers to their sets for the first-time airing, according to Nielsen Media Research.

The bout for Kovalev’s light heavyweight titles, which originally took place on Nov. 19 in Las Vegas on HBO PPV, peaked at 881,000 viewers. All three judges scored the fight 114-113 for Ward, with two giving Ward the final six rounds of the fight. The outcome prompted Kovalev to allege favoritism on behalf of the three American judges for a boxer who captured Olympic gold for the United States in 2004. The Nevada State Athletic Commission rejected that suggestion, claiming the judges were not swayed by the nationalities of the fighters.

Saturday’s live HBO telecast between Vasyl Lomachenko and Nicholas Walters, which took place after the replay of Ward-Kovalev, attracted an average of 761,000 viewers, a 30% jump from Lomachenko’s last outing on HBO on June 11 when the audience averaged 585,000 viewers.

On that date, Lomachenko starched Rocky Martinez with a one-punch, right-hand knockout in the fifth round. Lomachenko’s dominating performance against Walters, in which he retained his junior lightweight title after making the previously undefeated Walters quit following the seventh round, peaked at 846,000 sets.