New York -- Home Box Office's Oct. 31
"Prince" Naseem Hamed-Wayne McCullough fight earned a season-high 12.8 rating
for its World Championship Boxing series, according to Nielsen Media Research.
The previous high was a 12 rating for HBO's June 13
Oscar De La Hoya-Patrick Charpentier event.
The lackluster fight, which Hamed won by unanimous
decision, marked the sixth straight World Championship Boxing show that has
recorded double-digit ratings.
"In one short year, [Hamed] has established himself as
the fastest-rising newcomer on the American boxing scene," said Lou DiBella, senior
vice president of programming for HBO Sports, in a prepared statement.
"Love him or hate him, [Hamed] compels you to watch
him, and he is putting boxing on the radar screen for a new generation of fans,"