American boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. kept his undefeated professional record intact, beating Manny Pacquiao by unanimous decision on Saturday night. Many people in the Philippines were disappointed with Pacquiao's loss, and some hoped for a rematch.
According to Josephine Cuneta and Cris Larano of the Wall Street Journal, Filipino fans gathered in bars and restaurants across the Philippines on Sunday to cheer on their local boxing hero. The results left many of them gutted.
"I am extremely disappointed, to be honest," Chris Thomas said at Skinny Mike's Sports Bar in Makati's financial district. "Mayweather was just skipping the ring all the time."
Pacquiao seemed to share his people's sentiments about his fight with Mayweather in a post-fight interview.
"I thought that I won the fight," Pacquiao quipped. "He didn't do nothing."
Consultant Michelle Palijo suggested to the Wall Street Journal that the Filipino boxing legend should consider retirement after that matchup with Mayweather.
"He has proven himself that he is a champion," Palijo said. "Before his punches were fast and in this fight, it was slow. It wasn't a good fight for Manny."
However, others told the Wall Street Journal thought Pacquiao's skills remained sharp despite the loss.
"Manny shouldn't retire. He is doing good by being there just on the ring," freelance photographer Oscar Nava said. "The fight unified the country. The whole world thinks of Manny as an all-around guy."
According to Ivan Watson and Pamela Boykoff of CNN, even the country's leader, President Benigno Aquino III, released a statement on Monday through his spokesman thanking the 36-year-old Pacquiao for his efforts in the boxing ring.
"Filipinos can hold their heads up high... Pacquiao did us all proud when he stood his ground against one of the best boxers of our time, Floyd Mayweather," Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said.
Coloma added that the Philippine president also thanked Pacquiao "for serving as an inspiration to every Filipino in overcoming the daily challenges in the pursuit of a better life and future."
"He is a worthy exemplar that the Filipino is able to compete in the global arena -- for as long as there is a level playing field," Coloma said.
The statement also had some advice on what Pacquiao could do in the future.
"Hopefully, Manny may now be able to devote more time with his family and that he is able to maintain good health that will serve him in good stead in all his future endeavors," Coloma said.
According to CNN, millions of people in the Philippines watched the fight, which was broadcast on all major television networks and in stadiums, parks and movie theaters. Even the country's humid tropical heat, which went as high as 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in some parts according to CNN, didn't deter Filipinos from watching the fight.
"Pacquiao is a huge star in his home country, where his rags-to-riches story connects to locals," Watson and Boykoff wrote. "He is not just a boxer, but also a congressman, singer, basketball coach and owner of everything from a bottled water brand to a shopping mall."
A spokesman for the national police, Senior Superintendent Bartolome Tobias, suggested to the Wall Street Journal that a rematch should take place between Mayweather and Pacquiao.
"Much as we were expecting a stunning victory by Manny Pacquiao...we respect the outcome of the fight. And look forward to another showdown between the two great boxing legends," Tobias said.