This past weekend wasn’t among the biggest of the year for fight fans. But it offered a pair of noteworthy events — one featuring one of the boxing world’s rising stars in Gennady Golovkin; and the other, one of the biggest shows in recent memory from MMA World Series of Fighting.
The latter event, WSOF 22, included title fights at heavyweight and flyweight; as well as a welterweight clash between former UFC title challengers Yushin Okami and Jon Fitch.
We know, of course, how the fights went. Golovkin demolished opponent David Lemieux in an eight round TKO, Fitch smothered Okami en route to a decision victory, and Blagoy Ivanov continued his unlikely comeback story — defending his WSOF heavyweight title for the first time.
So, yeah. Pretty good stuff.
But the numbers? Well, not so much.
According to a report from FightHype, Golovkin vs. Lemieux essentially laid an egg at the box office, earning just 150,000 pay per view buys. The bout was Golovkin’s first PPV event.
Meanwhile, WSOF 24 scored a viewership of just 167,000, according to Nielsen numbers posted at MMA Payout and elsewhere. The totals mark a 10% decrease over their previous show and well under their average for the year.
“Saturday night was a bad night for WSOF,” the blog reports. “Game 1 between the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets took place on TBS. The MLB playoff game drew 7.89M viewers in the same time frame as WSOF. Also, the ESPN college football game between Florida and LSU drew 6.7M viewers between 7:30-10:30pm ET.”
So — plenty of time turn things around. WSOF has two more events lined up for 2015, including a one night lightweight tournament next month; while Golovkin is rumored to face the winner of the upcoming Miguel Cotto vs. Saul Alvarez mega-fight.