(CNN) — Saturday’s “fight of the century” between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao is an event worldwide, but perhaps nowhere so much as the Philippines.
National hero Manny Pacquiao will be cheered on by millions of his fellow Filipinos. The philippine capital Manila will quite literally shut down for the main event.
Pacquiao is arguably the biggest celebrity and athlete ever to emerge from this island nation, and you can’t underestimate or overstate how much of an icon he is in the Philippines because of his rags-to-riches story, and about being a hungry teenager who boxed his way to fame.
He came up from poverty to being a multimillionaire, but also became a member of the Philippines congress. Pacquiao records music and put out a music video before this fight, “Lalaban Ako Para Sa Filipino (I Fight for the Filipino People).”
He’s also appeared in movies and on television, as well in addition to being a coach and player on a Philippines basketball team here.
The mayor of Manila has set up giant screens around the city to show free screenings of the fight live, plus it’s going to be carried on many networks as well, for free as well. Some theaters will charge admission for fans to see the big fight on the big screen.