Billy Joe Saunders' latest title defense against David Lemieux has brought in a decent number in terms of viewership.
Saunders vs. Lemieux for Saunders' WBO middleweight world title headlined HBO's final live boxing telecast for 2017, bringing in an average viewership of 716,000 for the main event, according to Showbuzz Daily. The co-feature of the Saunders vs. Lemieux main event averaged 668,000 viewers while Cletus Seldin's show-opening loss did 624,000 viewers on average. The main event popped a 0.5 rating.
The main event numbers are down from the boxing telecast HBO had on this weekend one year ago, which Bernard Hopkins' final fight. Hopkins' retirement loss to Joe Smith Jr. on December 17, 2016 averaged 935,000 viewers for the main event. The final household rating for the 2016 bout was also higher than Saunders vs. Lemieux, getting a 0.63 rating.
The final numbers for the Saunders vs. Lemieux main event show that it is the seventh-highest viewership total for a live boxing main event on the network. The May 20 HBO card that was headlined by Terence Crawford vs. Felix Diaz still holds the best HBO viewership of 2017 with an average viewership of 961,000 for the main event, followed by Miguel Cotto's retirement fight which did about 944,000 for the December 2 HBO card.
Saunders dominated Lemieux for 12 rounds in Lemieux's home country of Canada, easily winning the bout via unanimous decision. It was Saunders' third defense of the title he won from Andy Lee in 2015.