Thurman and Garcia hope for huge viewership Saturday on CBS
Keith Thurman hopes his welterweight unification clash with Danny Garcia Saturday on CBS (9 p.m. ET) more than doubles the peak viewership that Deontay Wilder’s knockout of Gerald Washington pulled in Saturday on Fox when the heavyweight title bout spiked at 2.57 million viewers.
Garcia versus Thurman is one of the best matchups that can be made, pairing two undefeated champions compared to Wilder’s bout with Washington, who was a heavy underdog. By comparison, Thurman’s highly exciting unanimous decision win against top contender Shawn Porter last June on CBS drew a peak audience of 3.94 million. But Thurman wants to do better.
“I’d love to see 5.5 million to six million viewers,” Thurman told RingTV.com on Wednesday following a public workout at Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn. “That would be a true honor and a blessing. It’s a blessing to bring these caliber of fights back to network television and the way of the era of Sugar Ray Leonard. I said this earlier today — ‘Yes there’s money to make in pay-per-view because you’re paying for a view.’ But when it comes to the sport of boxing, instead of $20 million generated (from PPV), I’d like to see 20 million viewers back into the sport of boxing. Being champion, if I could ask for anything more, it’s that boxing gets those kinds of numbers once again.”
Garcia aimed even higher, saying he hoped that ten million viewers tuned in before tempering his expectations. “Man, I hope ten million,” he told RING on Wednesday. “But five or six million would be good.”