Who won #MayPac on social media? Watch the full CNBC interview here

Our global sales director James Cuthbertson headed over to the CNBC studios yesterday, May 4th, to give the team a lowdown on how the ‘fight of the century’ played out on social media.

The match between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao was built up to go down in boxing history – and it certainly didn’t disappoint.  Generating over 5 million tweets in the 12 before and after – it was one of the most talked about sporting events in social media history.

If we compare this to other big sporting events and the amount of mentions they received, we can begin to understand why this fight was such a big social media event:

  • Superbowl 49: 2,039,500
  • FIFA World Cup Final 2014 (soccer): 4,841,200
  • UEFA Champion’s League Final 2014: 1,499,000

Also, Periscope was a huge trend on social media – as many chose to watch the fight through live-streaming app. In fact some went on to say it was the greatest night in Periscope’s history (it’s important to mention that both Meerkat and Periscope don’t have a system to prevent copyright infringement). 

Location and demographics

top countries clusters of social conversation around the Mayweather v Pacquiao fight

In terms of creating social conversation the US came top by a massive margin with 52%, followed by the UK with 9.5%. The top cities for social engagement were London, Beijing and Quito (Ecuador).

Top cities creating social media conversation around #MayPacWe used our Location data to identify exactly where people were sharing their thoughts on the Mayweather and Pacquiao fight. As you can see London, New York and Los Angeles created intense heat areas on the map.

locations-mapgps-graph of Mayweather v Pacquiao fight



Interestingly, and as per usual, the unofficial hashtags beat the official ones all week, especially #MayPac.

The top 5 hashtags by mentions:

  • #MayPac – 2,823,677 mentions
  • #Mayweatherpacquiao – 1, 155, 057
  • #pacquiaomayweather – 214, 951
  • #mayweather – 253,592
  • #pacquiao – 199,337


As is usually the case in sporting events, the people supported the underdog, Pacquiao.
The majority of social conversation believed that Pacquiao: won the hearts, fought for his country, and that he is a real fighter.

Whereas, social media focused the post on Mayweather on the money he was gonna get after the fight, on his past legal troubles for domestic violence and on his hugging skills (diffusing the fight with Pac by hugging him).
Overall, the fight was received as “underwhelming”, “too technical”, “disappointing”, and “boring”. May was seen as tactical – hence the mentions of “hugging” while Pac was seen as “going for it”, but probably not as much as he should have to win the fight!

Mike Tyson gained the highest number of retweets, where he echoes the overall feelings of the fight.

Mike Tyson was the most retweeted #MayPac tweet

The top Instagram post received over 3k Likes:

Instagram image from 'wheninmanila' was the most Liked post
On social media the fight has gone down as one of the biggest events in sporting history.
However, negativity surrounded a lot of the conversation with people discussing what could have been done with the money Mayweather and Pacquiao earned from the fight to support global issues and causes, such as the massive humanitarian effort needed after the recent earthquake in Nepal.
It’s a good start that Pacman declared ahead of the fight he was gonna donate half of his earnings to charity, which definitely didn’t help the perceptions around Mayweather. But then again, Pacquiao is expected to run for president of the Philippines once his boxing career is over…

To see the full analysis watch our CNBC interview here.

If you want talk about how we can help you track social data, please send an email to Info@PulsarPlatform.com.


Ed Hawes