Manny Pacquiao has had a legendary boxing career, and he may have gotten more help than he would have asked for in 2000 when he fought Nedal Hussein.
Pacquiao won the fight via technical knockout after Hussein was declared unfit to keep going in the 10th round of the bout. However, when Pacquiao was knocked down in the fourth round of the match, referee Carlos Padilla admitted in a recent interview he gave the Filipino boxer extra time to get up off the mat.
“That fight, I’m about to go and leave the following day, and 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 in an interview on the World Boxing Council YouTube channel.
“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 round, I think, Manny got knocked down, I thought he was going to get up, but his eyes were cross-eyed (laughs). I am Filipino, and everybody watching the fight is Filipino, so I prolonged the count. I know how to do it.”
According to Bloody Elbow, Pacquiao was given 18 seconds to get back up from the knockdown.
Padilla said the cut Hussein suffered, which ended up costing him the fight, came from a headbutt from Pacquiao. Padilla said during the fight the cut came from a punch.
“Because he (Pacquiao) is shorter, he headbutted the other guy, and there is a cut, but I declared it a punch, Padilla added. “If there is a headbutt, you have to stop the fight and declare to the judges a point deduction, but I didn’t do that, meaning the fight could continue.”
Hussein responded to the clip on Instagram, calling Padilla a “putrid dog.”
Hussein would get a shot at the WBC World Super Bantamweight title in 2004 but lose in a unanimous decision. He ultimately finished 43-5 in his career with 27 knockouts.
Padilla’s interview was conducted in October, but his comments about Pacquiao went viral this week.
Padilla was also the referee in the famed “Thrilla in Manila” fight between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier.