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Mayweather vs Pacquiao: Who will most Americans root for?

Lee Cleveland Updated
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There's no question the overwhelming majority of Filipinos will be cheering for Manny Pacquiao when their hero and countryman faces superstar Floyd Mayweather on May 2 in a battle of future hall of famers and sports titans.

But where is American sentiment?

Recently, the most recognized professional athlete ever chimed in on which fighter he is supporting.

American, sports icon and fight legend Muhammad Ali will be in Pacquiao's corner, figuratively not literally, next month.


Ali's daughter, Rasheda Ali, told TMZ: 

"My dad really likes Manny. He’'s a huge fan of his. He knows Manny'’s a great fighter …but it’s more about what he does outside the ring. He'’s such a charitable person.”"

Do most Americans feel the same way?

After all, Pacquiao is adored by Americans for his humble character and benevolent tendencies. Pac-Man tries to help poor people, is active in the Catholic Church and serves as a congressman.

However, his opponent, Floyd Mayweather, despite his perceived arrogance and bad boy image, has a multitude of American fans himself.

Let's face it, he's not the highest earner in pro sports because he's unpopular among the masses.

In the first 'Fight of the Century,' Muhammad Ali vs Joe Frazier, the younger, hipper, more liberal anti-war demographic had a strong preference for 'The Greatest' while the older, more conservative, blue collar, pro-war demographic liked Smokin' Joe.

In the U.S, are there similar leanings for Mayweather and Pacquiao? 

Based on nothing more than a personal observation, the younger (18-34) trendier, hip-hoppish, 'Justin Bieber' demographic probably leans heavily towards Floyd while slightly more conservative Americans, especially those who are 35 and over or attend church, will likely root for Pacquiao.

If you voted for Mitt Romney or John McCain, there's a strong chance you favor Manny. But if voted for President Obama, you may be everso slightly more inclined to back Floyd, or it's 50-50.

And yes, there are certainly cross-overs and exceptions as the above characterizations are simply trends and not meant to depict every single American.

In all, Manny Pacquiao is probably the narrow preference among Americans, especially those who love to root for the underdog.

As a result, don't expect any U.S. vs Philippines rhetoric on May 2 as Manny is well-liked among Americans and has fought here so many times some non-fans of the sport probably think he's a Filipino-American anyway.

Which fighter's supporters will be represented in greater numbers at MGM Grand on May 2?

Mayweather vs Pacquiao | News

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