The Ultimate Fighting Chaps are getting hyper-excited about the viewing figures for Conor McGregor's latest extravaganza, his Madison Square Garden thumping of Eddie Alvarez to become the first two-weight world champion in their octagon.

The television audience in the UK is believed to have peaked at, er, 315,000. Hold on to your jockstraps.

US pay-per-view buys for the first UFC promotion in New York are reported to be 1.65million.

Well, shiver me timbers. A little perspective, if you please, before mixed martial arts is hailed as the scourge of boxing.


UFC has done a brilliant selling job. It surpasses wrestling because the contests are genuine, not theatrical.

We get that. But let's get real. Muhammad Ali vs Joe Frazier - The Fight Of The Century - was watched by 27.3m in the US.

In Britain, 18m British viewers tuned in to Barry McGuigan's epic world title win over Eusebio Pedroza.

When it comes to pay-per-view, Lennox Lewis vs Mike Tyson pulled in a subscription audience in Britain of 750,000.

The record pay-TV audience for boxing in the UK is Floyd Mayweather vs Ricky Hatton at 1.3m.

On terrestrial TV, Amir Khan drew 6.3m viewers in Britain for his last amateur bout.

Now for the crushing statistic: Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao drew almost 5m pay-TV subscribers.

And by the way, more than 30,000 British fans travelled to Las Vegas for each of the Hitman's fights against Mayweather and Pacquiao.


Oh, say UFC, aren't they historic numbers?

Sorry, UFC, David Haye's recent comeback fight against the unknown Mark de Mori drew a 3.5m audience on a TV channel called Dave.

UFC bigger than boxing. Not so fast, my little UFC Chickadees.

Frank Warren was on top of the world at the official announcement of his multi-million pound TV deal with BT Sport.

This event took place at the BT Tower in London, where Frank and I used to go to dinner in a revolving restaurant high above the London skyline.

As a boy, Warren grew up in a housing estate in the shadows of that tower.

As he presided over his latest coup, he said: 'I used to look up at this place and wonder what the view might look like.'

Now he knows. With his agreement for 20 shows a year to a potential audience of 18million on the various BT channels, Warren is sitting pretty up there.

The challenge this opens up against Sky Sports - including their pay-TV platform - has to be good for the development of future British boxing talent.

Warren will also broadcast 20 more shows exclusively for his BoxNation subscription channel, plus as many big fights from America and Europe.

Competition can only be beneficial to the sport in this country.

Warren says: 'We are now in the biggest game in town. Young boxers who think they had to be on another network will know now that we have the biggest reach and we will expand our stable of more than 60 fighters.'

Be sure Sky will fight back. BoxNation will share simultaneous broadcasts with BT plus the overseas specials, some on pay-TV.

As Warren says, competition has to be good for the game.