Miguel Cotto delivers record rating for Showtime, but Manny Pacquiao unimpressed by his performance

Kevin Iole
Boxing Experts Blog

LAS VEGAS -- Miguel Cotto delivered record ratings for Showtime on Dec. 1 in his unanimous decision loss at Madison Square Garden to WBA super welterweight champion Austin Trout.

Showtime announced Tuesday that its average viewership of 1.047 million viewers and its peak viewership of just under 1.4 million during the Cotto-Trout fight were both network records. The 1.047 million average was Showtime's highest since Nielsen Media Research began measuring premium multiplex channels in 2004. Its 1.4 million peak was the highest since Nielsen began tracking those numbers in 2009.

One of Showtime's viewers was Manny Pacquiao, the third-ranked fighter in the Yahoo! Sports ratings and a former Cotto opponent. Pacquiao stopped Cotto in the 12th round of a 2009 pay-per-view bout that sold 1.25 million units.

Pacquiao, who fights Juan Manuel Marquez on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden, had picked Cotto to win the fight. On Tuesday, he said he felt Trout was deserving of the victory. Judges had it for Trout 117-111 twice and 119-109.

But Pacquiao said he was not impressed by what he saw from his one-time foe. He said there's been a clear deterioration in Cotto's skills.

"To me, I see Cotto as different than before, when we fought," Pacquiao said. "This time, he seemed a little slow and the punches weren't really hard. I was rooting for Cotto, but I think he lost that fight."

Cotto's presence on Showtime for the first time since 2005 helped the network break its boxing ratings record it set in September. On Sept. 15, a card headlined by Canelo Alvarez and Josesito Lopez drew an average of 1.036 million, Showtime's record until the Cotto-Trout fight.

It's also why Golden Boy and Showtime remain interested in a potential Canelo-Cotto fight for the spring.

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