Manny Pacquiao denies ref helped him cheat: “Didn’t Cheat, We Were Just Favored”

The world of boxing was recently shaken up when one of legendary referees came out and bragged about how he robbed Manny Pacquiao’s opponent of a win 22 years ago.

Filipino referee Carlos Padilla admitted he meddled during a boxing bout between Pacquiao and Australian Nedal Hussein.

“Manny was not a world champion yet, he was only good in the Philippines,’ Padilla said in a recent interview with the WBC’s YouTube channel 

“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’.

“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’.”

When obliged to address the accusations in his own country, Pacquiao dismissed any wrongdoing on his part.

“We didn’t cheat. We were just favored because it was our ‘home court.’ As a boxer, I just did what I had to do,” Pacquiao voiced to his local outlet in English and Filipino. I’m just a boxer. I’m just doing my job inside the ring. That’s his problem, not mine.”

After the Pacquiao match, Hussein’s career was restarted. As his reputation grew, Pacquiao finally became one of the sport’s top stars.

Following his loss against Jordenis Ugas, the 43-year-old declared his retirement from boxing in 2021. Pacquiao had other aspirations to serve, such as focusing on his unsuccessful run for president of the Philippines earlier in the year.

Pacquiao will be boxing a youtuber next in an exhibition.