Referee Reveals He Cheated To Help Manny Pacquiao Win In 2000

The referee said he gave him extra time to get up.

A veteran referee admitted to cheating to help Manny Pacquiao win. 

Over two decades ago, in 2000, Pacquiao defeated Nedal “Skinny” Hussein by tenth-round technical knockout. Both boxers were rising prospects at the time, and a win would change the trajectory of their careers – and referee Carlos Padilla admitted that he rigged it to give Pacquiao the advantage.  

Padilla admitted the move in a now-made-private video on the WBC’s YouTube channel. 

“Manny was not a world champion yet, he was only good in the Philippines,” Padilla said.  

“That fight, I’m about to go and leave the following day and they told me, ‘Carlos, please, this is an important fight for Pacquiao, because the winner will have the chance to fight for the world championship.’ So, you know the opponent, Hussein, or whatever his name was. He is taller, younger, stronger, and a dirty fighter, managed by Jeff Fenech. So in the seventh (fourth) round, I think, Manny got knocked down, I thought he was going to get up, but his eyes were cross-eyed. 

“I am Filipino, and everybody watching the fight is Filipino, so I prolonged the count. I know how to do it. When he got up, I told him, ‘Hey, are you okay?’ Still prolonging the fight. ‘Are you okay? Okay, fight!’ And then Hussein… because Manny was not like Manny is now, he wasn’t trained by Freddie Roach yet, he holds on for his dear life, and the guy throws him, and he went down again.  

“I said to the opponent, ‘Hey, you don’t do this.’ You know, I was prolonging the fight. ‘You don’t do that. Okay, judges, [point] deduction.’” 

The action was halted in the 10th round after Hussein was declared unable to continue due to a cut on his left eyebrow.  

Pacquiao would go on to fight big names like Marco Antonio Barrera, Juan Manuel Marquez and Oscar De La Hoya – to name a few – and has become the sole eight-division champion, among many achievements that has labeled him as one of the greatest in the sport. He retired in 2021 following a loss to Yordenis Ugas. 

Hussein, on the other hand, wasn’t as successful. 

“My first reaction? I was gutted,” Hussein reacted to the Daily Mail.  

“I was just gutted. The arrogance of it. I was also really angry – I was burning. Winning that fight would have changed my life. I missed out on a couple of hundred grand and a world title fight. I would have been able to buy a house and been so much better off. 

“I would have been able to establish my family earlier. And with my career, I missed out on the big fights (afterwards) because of it. It set me back four years. After a while you become the B-side… I hated the sport after that. I just couldn’t handle the politics…  

“I’ve spoken to Manny a couple of times over the years, but never about the knockdown or the fight. It’s not his fault, it’s got nothing to do with him.” 

Hussein retired in 2007 with 43-5 record with 27 knockouts. 

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