- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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Middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin’s big drama show was big indeed.
GGG’s exciting sixth-round knockout of Willie Monroe -- Golovkin’s 20th KO win in a row -- on Saturday night at the Forum in Inglewood, California, was the third-most viewed fight of the year on HBO, continuing his strong viewership trend. The live, first-time airing of the bout averaged 1.338 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research. It peaked at 1.474 million.
The two fights that drew larger audiences were Canelo Alvarez’s three-round shootout with James Kirkland from the previous week in Houston (2.146 million average/2.296 million peak) and heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko’s victory against Bryant Jennings on April 25 in New York (1.637 million average/1.742 peak).
Golovkin’s viewership was a 3 percent increase over his last live prime-time outing, when he averaged 1.304 million for an October second-round knockout of Marco Antonio Rubio.
In the opening bout on Saturday night, flyweight champion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez made his HBO debut to the tune of an average of 961,000 viewers for his electrifying second-round knockout of former junior flyweight titlist Edgar Sosa. The fight peaked at 1.018 million viewers, an impressive number for a flyweight bout -- the first aired on HBO since 1995.