Eleider “Storm” Alvarez’s dramatic comeback seventh-round knockout of Sergey Kovalev to take his light heavyweight world title on Saturday night at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, averaged 731,000 viewers and peaked at 813,000 (during the decisive seventh round) for the live HBO telecast, according to Nielsen Media Research. It was a 22 percent improvement over Kovalev’s last HBO appearance in March, when his seventh-round knockout of Igor Mikhalkin averaged 599,000 viewers against stiff competition from a Showtime card. Light heavyweight titleholder Dmitry Bivol’s lopsided decision win over Isaac Chilemba to retain his light heavyweight world title in the co-feature averaged 583,000 viewers and peaked at 632,000 viewers. For Bivol it marked a 14 percent increase in viewership over his 12th-round knockout of Sullivan Barrera in the Kovalev-Mikhalkin co-feature, which averaged 512,000 viewers.

Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer76d ago