More than 80,000 fans attended world heavyweight titleholder Anthony Joshua's unanimous decision victory against Joseph Parker last week in Cardiff. However, one bout drew higher ratings. That's according to Nielsen Media Research ratings released Tuesday.
The peak audience for Erislandy Lara vs. Jarrett Hurd, the main event of a Showtime-televised tripleheader Saturday in Las Vegas was 521,000, while Joshua-Parker had a peak audience of 379,000 on March 31.
The average audience for both fights was 490,000 and 346,000, respectively.
The unbeaten Joshua won a third heavyweight title belt with his victory over Parker, but his 100 percent knockout record was snapped, as he went the distance for the first time in his professional career. The bout did have its moments, but it was not the most scintillating affair.
Those who tuned in to watch Lara-Hurd witnessed a potential Fight of the Year candidate as Hurd (22-0, 15 KO's), a 27-year-old hailing from Accokeek, Maryland, dropped Lara (25-3-2, 14 KO's), a 34-year-old Cuba native based in Houston, with a massive hammer-like left hook with just 15 seconds left in the bout.
Although the fight had many close rounds, Hurd was cutting off the ring, and forcing Lara to get more aggressive.
FightNights.com scored the fight 116-111 for Hurd, but judges Glenn Feldman and Dave Moretti had it 114-113, and judge Burt Clements credited Lara with a 114-113 victory.