Veteran referee admits he cheated in order to ensure a Manny Pacquiao victory in 2000

By Harry Kettle - November 30, 2022

Referee Carlos Padilla has admitted he cheated in order to help Manny Pacquiao avoid defeat against Nedal Hussein.


Within the boxing community, few fighters are as beloved as Manny Pacquiao.

He’s one of the most accomplished boxers of his generation and, arguably, of all-time. Whenever he stepped into the squared circle he always made sure to give the fans his best. In the process, he almost always put on a show to remember.

Back in 2000, however, he was relatively unknown. One of his bouts that year took place against Australian star Nedal Hussein who some saw as the favourite heading into the contest.

At one point in the fight, Hussein dropped Pacquiao in the fourth round with the referee giving him an unusually long 10-count.

Now, Padilla has openly admitted that he did, in fact, give a long count.

“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.

Pacquiao’s lucky day

“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.’”

Quotes via Mirror

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