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Boxing Referee Claims He Cheated to Help Manny Pacquiao in 2000

Manny Pacquiao’s legacy as one of the most accomplished boxers of all time is firmly cemented. But according to the account of one former referee, he received a little bit of untoward help along the way to becoming a boxing icon.

Carlos Padilla asserted that he cheated to help Pacquiao get a win during a 2000 bout against Nedal Hussein for the WBC International super-bantamweight championship, according to Jack Baer of Yahoo Sports. Padilla says he gave Pacquiao an extra long count after he was knocked down in the fourth round.

Pacquiao went on to win by TKO in the 10th round.

“They told me, ‘Carlos, please … this is an important fight for Manny Pacquiao because the winner will have the chance to fight for the world championship,’” Padilla said. “So, you know the opponent, Hussein, or whatever his name was … So in the seventh 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.”

After Padilla went public with his admission, Hussein was reached for comment by World Boxing News, and was dismayed with the lack of remorse Padilla seemed to have in recounting his story.

“Honestly, after watching the referee video, it really hit a nerve. I was upset for a full 24 hours,” Hussein said. “It’s not the fact that he said what he said. It’s more because we already knew it. But the way he said it with a smirk and a smile like he was proud of what he had done, like the depth of corruption, it’s obviously in his veins and his heart. So he had obviously done it before because it was nothing to him.”