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Marquez-Alvarado a ratings hit

5/21/2014



A few notes from the boxing word:

• Welterweight star Juan Manuel Marquez’s brilliant performance in a unanimous decision against Mike Alvarado on Saturday night at The Forum in Inglewood, California, was a hit with HBO viewers. According to Nielsen Media Research, the fight drew an average audience of 1.198 million viewers, good for the second-most-watched cable fight of the year so far, behind only another HBO fight, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.’s rematch with Bryan Vera, which drew 1.39 million viewers. Marquez-Alvarado peaked at 1.322 million viewers for what was Marquez’s first live HBO fight since he knocked out Michael Katsidis in a lightweight world title fight in 2010.

Even Saturday’s co-feature, a junior welterweight eliminator between the unknown Viktor Postol and Selcuk Aydin, which Postol won by devastating 11th-round knockout, drew strong viewership. It had an average audience of 1.002 million, making it the fifth-most-watched bout on cable in 2014. The fight peaked with 1.137 million viewers. The top six audiences for cable fights in 2014 have all been on HBO.

• Philadelphia lightweight contender Hank Lundy (24-3-1, 11 KOs) will stay busy on May 31 when he faces journeyman Pipino Cuevas Jr. (17-11, 15 KOs), son of the former welterweight champion, in a scheduled 10-rounder at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut. Lundy is closing in on a world title opportunity, especially after his impressive lopsided decision win against Angelo Santana on Feb. 21.

"The whole idea is to stay busy and stay sharp," Lundy said. "That way, when I get the call to fight for a world title, I'll be ready to fight right then and there."

• Junior middleweight Jorge Cota of Mexico has signed a co-promotional deal with Sampson Lewkowicz and Mexico’s Kochul Promotions, Lewkowicz announced. Cota (22-1, 21 KOs), 26, trains in the same stable as former titleholders Fernando Montiel, Hugo Cazares and Jorge Arce.

"I am very excited to be given this opportunity," Cota said. "Sampson is the promoter who can bring me the international fights that showcase my talent and punching power. I will make him and my original promoters, Kochul, very proud with my training and performances."

Cota has won six fights in a row since his lone defeat in June 2012, a seventh-round knockout to Marco Antonio Rubio, who later won an interim world title.

• Cruiserweight contender Thabiso "The Rock" Mchunu (16-1, 11 KOs), of South Africa, whose last two bouts have been in the United States, will have his next fight at home on June 6, a 10-rounder in Pretoria against Julio Cesar Dos Santos (26-2, 23 KOs), of Brazil. Mchunu, 26, had a breakout performance in August when he stunningly -- and easily -- outpointed former heavyweight contender Eddie Chambers, after which Mchunu signed with Main Events to handle his fights in the United States while co-promoter Showpony Promotions puts on his bouts in South Africa.

“I am going to traumatize my Brazilian opponent, Julio Cesar Dos Santos, from beginning to end,” Mchunu said. “He'll take up soccer when I'm finished with him."