MACAO, Feb. 17, 2017 /PRNeswire/ -- According to statistics from CCTV, the predominant state television broadcaster in China, four bouts of the CCTV Chinese Lunar New Year IBF World Championship are listed among the top 10 programs of its CCTV-5 channel's audience ratings during the Chinese Spring Festival. Nearly 400 million people from all over the world watched the bouts. Experts say IBF has achieved outstanding results in promoting professional boxing in China.
A New Record of the Audience Rating
The IBF World Female Mini Flyweight Championship Fight between Cai Zongju and Etsuko Tada topped the list with an audience rating of 1.06%; the IBF Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship Fight between Carlos Takam and Marcin Rekowski came in second place with 0.66%; the IBF Asia Bantamweight Championship Fight between Ge Wenfeng and Melmark Dignos came in fourth with 0.65%; the IBF Asia Youth Middleweight Championship Fight between Wang Feihu and Aleksei Podkolzin was ranked tenth at 0.57%.
The CCTV Chinese Lunar New Year Celebration Cup, along with the CCTV Spring Festival Gala, have been called "the CCTV's Classics of Chinese New Year Celebration," which are very popular among Chinese all over the world and the CCTV Chinese Lunar New Year Cup also appeals to celebrities from the boxing field and sports fans around the world. It has been held for 5 consecutive years.
Now, the Cup has become the CCTV's most distinctive brand of TV programs that combines Chinese traditional culture and entertainment elements with top sporting events. It also utilizes diversified forms of TV programming to present a classic top-level sport games for global audiences.
The highlights of the events were two world championship title bouts in Macao. These two bouts, rated with four stars by BOXREC.com, were the IBF World Junior Bantamweight Championship Fight between Jerwin Ancajas and Jose A. Rodriguez, and the IBF World Female Mini Flyweight Championship Fight between Etsuko Tada and Cai Zongju. These are the highest level bouts ever presented on the CCTV Chinese Lunar New Year Cup since its foundation five years ago. In the most important bout of the Cup, Chinese boxer Cai Zongju defeated Japanese fighter Etsuko Tada, the then IBF World Female Mini Flyweight Champion, and became the first IBF World Champion from China.
"The cooperation between the CCTV Chinese Lunar New Year Cup and IBF this year brought the event to an international level; it became a classic New Year celebration program and the most authoritatively professional boxing event in China," said Zhang Xiaotong, the producer of the CCTV Chinese Lunar New Year Cup. "CCTV-5 diligently produced nearly 600 minutes' live programming of the event on 29 and 30, January, 2017, and the audience rating and the viewer share respectively got first place in the country during China's biggest festival. It indicates that boxing has become much more popular in China."
A Boost to Macao's Economic Development
This is the first time that CCTV and IBF jointly organized such a big event in Macao. Alexis Tam Chon Weng, the director of the Secretariat for Social Affairs and Culture of Macao government, said, "It will be helpful for Macao to build the World Tourism Leisure Center through the integration of international sport events into Macao's economic development."
Wang Ruihang, the president of IBF China said, "The cost of accommodation, round trip air tickets and catering are very expensive in Macao during the Spring Festival, and even with hotel rooms being triple their off-peak price, supply still falls seriously short of demand during the festival." "I'd like to thank Rejoy Group, one of the major organizers who provided strong financial support and effective organization and management service for the project. Of course, the Central Government Liaison Office in the Macao and Macao SAR Government's special support also laid a foundation for the success of the event."
The sponsors of the event including the Venetian, the Wynn Palace, Air Macau and Suncity Group showed their intense will to strengthen cooperation with IBF. They believe IBF's games will not only enrich Macao citizens' recreational and sports activities, but also improve the city's tourism appeal greatly during the Chinese Spring Festival. What's more, the event showed the new image of the city's social and economic development very well.
Stimulating Domestic Professional Boxers' Morale
During the two-day event, the excellent performance by the Chinese fighters boosted the Chinese boxers' morale greatly, especially when Cai Zongju defeated Etsuko Tada and Cai's international ranking rose from 4 star to 5 star.
Other Chinese young fighters including Ge Wenfeng, Wang Feihu, Xiang Jing, Sun Xiangxiang, Yu Yahong and Xie Lili also performed very well. Ge Wenfeng finally become the IBF Asia Bantamweight Champion and Sun Xiangxiang became IBF China's first Lightweight Champion. Their solid technique and professional competence impressed the judges and audience deeply. They are very promising fighters who have the possibility to win the championship in the near future.
Accelerating Professional Boxing's Popularity
In preparing for the event, the organizer and the creative team made great efforts to integrate Chinese Lunar New Year's elements with the games in order to fully display traditional Chinese culture. For instance, they adopted "Chinese red" as the basic color tone of the venue and hung a dozen large-scale Chinese traditional palace lanterns in the venue.
Du Wenjie, Senior Sports Journalist from Chinese Sport Daily, commented that the high quality of the 2017 5th CCTV Lunar New Year Cup is derived from the hard work by IBF China in the past years.
According to Wang Ruihang, IBF China aims to provide a top-of-the-line professional boxing platform for boxers worldwide. Its mission is to quickly popularize boxing and improve the healthy development of the sport in order to provide an inexhaustible impetus for China's sport culture and social development. To achieve this goal, IBF China initiated Chinese Professional Boxing Tournaments in 2015, and the mechanism opened a channel for Chinese professional boxers to compete on the world platform.
Daryl J. People, the president of IBF Global, said, "IBF headquarters attaches great importance to the promotion of professional boxing in China and it will give full support to IBF China." "We are willing to provide more chances for excellent Chinese boxers to strive for world titles and intercontinental titles in the coming future."