Middleweight beltholder Peter Quillin could soon defend his WBO title against promotional stablemate Danny Jacobs.
Lem's latest: Hopkins-Murat draws large audience
Bernard Hopkins drew a large audience for his unanimous decision victory over Karo Murat. The IBF light heavyweight title bout was televised on Showtime.
Bernard Hopkins brawled his way to a virtual rout of Karo Murat in defense of the IBF light heavyweight belt on Saturday in Atlantic City to extend his own record as the oldest man to win a significant crown.
In doing so, Hopkins headlined a tripleheader that drew the second largest average audience for a live Showtime boxing event this year, one that ranks as the third-highest average on record for the network since 2004 when Nielsen began tracking pay television networks' individual channels.
On the undercard, heavyweight knockout artist Deontay "The Bronze Bomber" Wilder's (30-0, 30 KOs) scored three knockdowns during a fourth-round stoppage of Nicolai Firtha, and WBO middleweight titleholder Peter "Kid Chocolate" Quillin dropped his man in the second round of a 10th-round technical knockout victory over Gabriel Rosado.
The three-hour and 30-minute viewership average of the Golden Boy event that brings Showtime Championship Boxing's average viewership for the 2013 up 23 percent from 2012 and 62 percent from 2011.
Hopkins-Murat attracted a peak audience of one million viewers, ranking third for the year behind June's split-decision by Adrien "The Problem" Broner (at 1.3 million) that dethroned Paulie Malignaggi as WBA welterweight titleholder, and April's unanimous decision by Canelo Alvarez over 154-pound rival Austin Trout (at 1.1 million).
"Showtime has quickly emerged as the premiere destination for big-time boxing," said Stephen Espinoza, executive vice president and general manager of Showtime Sports, whose network has seen its top-five largest boxing audiences in the last 13 months with the Hopkins-Murat, the fifth-highest on record for Showtime.
On Dec. 7, at Barclays Center in their native Brooklyn, Showtime will televise former junior welterweight and welterweight titleholders Malignaggi and Zab Judah headlining a show supported by IBF 147-pound beltolder Devon Alexander defending against unbeaten prospect Shawn Porter, a junior middleweight contender clash between Erislandy Lara and Austin Trout, and WBC super middleweight beltholder Sakio Bika's first title defense against unbeaten propsect Anthony Dirrell.
On Dec. 14 on Showtime, Broner will defend against Marcos Maidana from The Alamodome as the main event to a card that also features WBC junior featherweight beltholder Leo Santa Cruz in a defense of his belt against Cesar Ceda, hard-hitting welterweight standouts Keith Thurman and Jesus Soto-Karass, WBA light heavyweight beltholder Beibut Shumenov against unbeaten Tamas Kovacs, and former welterweight titleholder Victor Ortiz in a matchup with rugged Alfonzo Gomez.
OFFICIALS SELECTED FOR GENNADY GOLOVKIN-CURTIS STEVENS CARD
New York referee Harvey Dock will handle Saturday's HBO-televised clash between WBA middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin and Curtis Stevens, with the judges being Florida's Michael Pernick, California's Max DeLuca and New Jersey's John Poturaj.
Also on the card is a match featuring hard-hitting heavyweights Magomed Abdusalamov and Mike Perez, whose referee will be referee will be Benjy Esteves, with judges Julie Lederman, John Stewart and Don Trella.
Also on the card, former WBO junior middleweight beltholder Zaurbek Baysangurov will end what will be a 13-month ring absence when he meets journeyman Freddy Hernandez, as well as battle of welterweights between Dusty Hernandez-Harrison and Josh "Pitbull" Torres.
UNDEFEATED DENIS BOYTSOV ON YOAN HERNANDEZ-ALEXANDER ALEKSEEV CARD
Heavyweight Denis Boytsov (33-0, 26 KOs) will meet Alex Leapai (29-4-3, 24 KOs) on the Nov. 23 undercard of a main event featuring IBF cruiserweight titleholder Yoan Pablo Hernandez (27-1, 13 KOs) in a defense against Alexander Alekseev (24-2-1, 20 KOs) in Bamberg, Germany, according to Sauerland Events' website.
UNBEATEN 41-YEAR-OLD HEAVYWEIGHT AMIR MANSOUR SIGNS WITH JOE HAND
Delaware heavyweight Amir Mansour (19-0, 14 KOs), a 41-year-old who fights out of Philadelphia, has signed a managerial contract with Joe Hand Sr., chairman of Joe Hand Promotions, Inc.
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org