Filipino community preps for highly anticipated boxing match

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - Saturday's fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao is a boxing match that's five years in the making.

Members of the Bay Area's Filipino community say there's no way they will miss the event.

Fort McKinley's is a restaurant popular with the Filipino community, where there are plenty of Manny Pacquiao fans.

On this Thursday night, the restaurant is busy. But come Saturday, it will be a packed house.

In the Filipino community, Pacquiao is known affectionately as "Pac Man."

"Saturday is so exciting because it's the fight of the century... because of Manny Pacquiao and Mayweather - Floyd Mayweather," said Tessie Guinto, a Pacquiao fan.

The restaurant will be showing the fight. It's charging $18 a person; $38 if food is included, and tickets sold out more than a week ago.

Barry Picazo, managing partner of McKinley's, says they will double the food, and the alcohol to accommodate the anticipated increase in business.

He expects to turn a profit even though his business paid $7,500 for the right to air the event, and he hired extra security.

"No day off. Mandatory to be in and they can wear their ‘Pac Man' t-shirts," said Picazo when asked about how he plans to staff his restaurant on Saturday.

Meanwhile at the Undisputed Boxing Gym in San Carlos, 27-year-old Bruno Escalante is training for his next match.

The professional boxer is in the superfly weight division.

Born in the Philippines, Escalante credits Pacquiao for putting his country on the map in the boxing world. "Very inspiring to see him fight, train and how he treats people... very humble," he said.

There's plenty of admiration for a man who fans say is a hero outside the ring.

Pacquiao serves the Philippines as a congressman and is known for his generosity.

Escalante proudly showed KTVU the photo he took with Pacquiao in Las Vegas five years ago.

Back at the restaurant, Tessie Qunito says her family will be hosting a watch party for 80 people at home. They will all be cheering for their Filipino hero.

"Keep praying, hoping that the Filipino will be number one again," said Guinto.

Pacquiao fans say they are nervous because Floyd Mayweather is undefeated.

But win or lose, they say "Pac Man" is their hero.