Manny Pacquiao

Pacquiao denies cheating amid Filipino ref rigging claims: ‘His problem not mine’

Delfin Dioquino
Pacquiao denies cheating amid Filipino ref rigging claims: ‘His problem not mine’

LEGENDARY CAREER. The win over Nedal Hussein helped pave the way for Manny Pacquiao to worldwide stardom.

Wendell Alinea/MP Promotions

Renowned referee Carlos Padilla admits aiding Manny Pacquiao in his win over Nedal Hussein, but the Filipino boxing icon says he did not cheat

MANILA, Philippines – Manny Pacquiao denied cheating his way to a win over Nedal Hussein in their 2000 encounter after renowned Filipino referee Carlos Padilla claimed he rigged the fight in favor of his compatriot.

Recently inducted to the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame, Padilla confessed in an interview that he prolonged the count when Hussein knocked down Pacquiao in the fourth round of their title bout at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.

“I did not cheat. We were just probably favored because of home court [advantage],” Pacquiao said in a TV Patrol report in Filipino. “As a boxer, I just did what I needed to do.”

“I’m a boxer. I only do my job inside the ring. That is his problem, not mine.”

Pacquiao beat the Australian via a 10th-round technical knockout victory to retain his World Boxing Council (WBC) International super bantamweight title.

“I thought he was [not] going to get up, because his eyes were like cross-eyed,” said Padilla, who is best known for officiating the “Thrilla in Manila” between boxing legends Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier in 1975.

“Because I am a Filipino and everybody [was] Filipino watching the fight, so I prolonged the count. I know how to do it. And when he got up, I said, ‘Hey, are you okay?’ That was prolonging the fight.”

Hussein suffered a deep cut on his left eyebrow, resulting in the stoppage.

But according to Padilla, the wound was caused by a head butt from Pacquiao, although he refused to rule it as is.

“He butted the other guy. There was a cut. I declared it a punch. If there is a butt, you have to stop the fight,” said the 88-year-old. “But if you do not do that, the fight continues, meaning to say it is a good hit, clean punch.”

Pacquiao went on to defend the WBC belt two more times before he fought and won against Lehlo Ledwaba in 2001 for the IBF super bantamweight title, a victory that propelled him to stardom on the way to a Hall of Fame career.

Review launched

Hussein asked WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman to take action against Padilla.

“They should be held accountable for the sport we love,” Hussein wrote on Instagram. “The dirty referee talking with no shame.”

In a statement released on Wednesday, November 30, Sulaiman said the WBC is in the process of reviewing the remarks of Padilla.

“The World Boxing Council has established a special panel to review the situation about legendary referee Carlos Padilla with regards to some comments during an interview published by the WBC a few days ago.”

“I will personally follow the process. In the meantime, the WBC will not make any further public comments,” said Sulaiman.

The WBC also published a letter from Suzy Padilla-Tuano, the eldest child of the iconic referee, who said her father may have been misunderstood due to his old age.

“My father is an 88-year-old man who is just that – old and aging!” wrote Padilla-Tuano.

“Despite the fact that he has been living in the United States for decades, English remains his second language. Communications can be misconstrued and well-intentioned words can be misinterpreted.”

“The present situation is one such glaring example of what might have actually been said (no pun intended) and what may have been taken out of context.”

She added her father does not need controversies at this point of his life.

“[I] believe that through his legacy, he has proven his worth, and we, his family, would appreciate it if people respected his contributions to the boxing community by giving him some well-deserved consideration.” –

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.