Its the age of social media. And everyone has an opinion. Apparently, the power to post has empowered everyone with a mobile device or access to a computer to share their opinions unhindered and in real time. For the Philippines, a country ranking in one of the top spots globally in terms of social media use (clocking in an average of 4 hours on social media across gadgets), the love to connect with people is combined with the Filipinos’ love to express their opinion on issues they are passionate about.
It should come as no surprise that the much celebrated match, touted as the “Battle for Greatness” between future boxing Hall of Famers Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. and Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao, which has earned the honor of being the most expensive match in the history of the sport, was the most talked about topic in social media in the months leading to the event, especially since both fighters are polar opposites. While Manny is a beloved figure in the sport because of his affability and his inspiring back story, Floyd is a more polarizing figure for fight fans because of his seemingly arrogant persona and his flamboyant attitude.
Fans expected an explosive bout. After all, Floyd has been flaunting his undefeated record in Manny’s face for years. Five, to be exact, since the first round of negotiations were stalled because the two fighters could not agree on the financial and technical aspects of the fight. Floyd wanted Olympic style drug testing, implying Manny’s use of performance enhancing drugs, which the Filipino champion adamantly denied and took offense at. Since then, the two fighters went their merry ways, taking on different challengers and settling old scores with previous nemesis. But fans wanted a definitive answer as to who was the best pound for pound boxer of this generation, and they got their answer yesterday. Ending in a unanimous decision in favor of Mayweather, fight fans were displeased, not by the outcome, but because of the way the match played out. Fans felt underwhelmed by the lack of action in the ring. Even professional boxers themselves expressed disappointment that the match did not deliver on the expectations. Oscar dela Hoya even tweeted his apologies to the fans and criticized the match for not giving the fans their money’s worth.
So Floyd should not be surprised at the amount of memes generated (and shared) in his honor. Following Manny’s loss, the Philippines, as a nation were united. Their hero might have lost the battle inside the ring but social media is a whole different arena.
Yesterday, 40 million active social media accounts from the Philippines turned up in full force to express their unabashed opinions in creative manners, through hilarious interpretations of the #MayPac bout. Here are some of the best memes created (or shared) by Pinoy fans post fight.
Pinoys were displeased at the fact that Floyd clinched with Manny to prevent him from getting more punches in. As a result, Britney Spears’ hit ‘Sometimes’ factored into the equation with this representation.
Here’s one where Frozen’s Olaf gets a facial and turns up as Mayweather.
The #Fiesta for the Fight
The #MayPac fight was a great opportunity for Pinoys to bond with friends and family. Because of the expensive pay per view rates ranging from P2500-P4000, it was also a practical move to share the cost and spend time hanging out. This meme perfectly encapsulates Filipino bonding culture.
Mayweather’s evasive strategy during the match also had netizens comparing his stance to Bruno Mars’ band member, and pop star Ariana Grande’s petrified look during a Victoria’s Secret runway performance.
Mayweather is a strategist. That much can be said. And that is the reason why he remains undefeated up to this day. He plays smart defense and part of that defense is steering clear of his opponent. Netizens were unimpressed by his excessive running around the ring (although it proved to be effective) and thought they were cheated out of seeing an actual boxing match. As a result, Mayweather’s face is edited into Forest Gump’s body, in one of the movie’s most iconic scenes where Forest started running.
Pinoys thought that Manny was the more aggressive fighter and therefore could not believe the low turnout of scores released by CompuBox as well as the judges at ringside. Netizens came up with their own version, factoring in two elements in Mayweather’s strategy to win the bout.
Rapper Kanye West’s stunt at the VMA’s where he interrupted Taylor Swift mid speech to say that he thought Beyonce deserved the award, was one of the music industry’s most memorable events. Seeing as Beyonce was part of the audience, netizens were quick to jump on the opportunity.
Memes about the president have become popular in recent years, and with the barrage of problems the nation is facing, the President has become somewhat a target online for a variety of issues. But roping him into Manny’s loss was admittedly funny because it was so ridiculous.
Win or lose, Pinoys certainly know how to turn their frowns upside down. And boy, do we love our heroes, past or present. A word of warning to fellow Filipinos, though. Let’s not go overboard and abuse our freedom to post online. Making jokes is one thing but not to the point that it borders on the malicious. Our freedoms are never absolute, and we should always remember that in the exercise of our rights, we should not tamp down on the rights of others. Let’s unite in becoming responsible internet citizens.
*Credit to the owners of the images used.