Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao recently had his legacy placed in question. Referee Carlos Padilla, who officiated ‘Pacman’s’ 2000 fight with Nedal Hussein, admitted to extending the standing eight-count by eight seconds when his fellow Filipino was knocked down in round four.
Padilla also admitted to declaring Pacquiao’s accidental headbutt a punch, saving the latter from a potential point deduction. The confession, of course, angered Hussein, who felt he was deprived of having a better career than what he had.
“I would have been able to buy a house and been so much better off. With my career, I missed out on the big fights [afterward] because of it. It set me back four years. I hated the sport after that,” he said.
Back in the Philippines, Pacquiao was asked about the controversy that involves his name. In a nutshell, the 43-year-old absolved himself from any wrongdoing.
“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 told local outlet TV Patrol in both English and Filipino.
“I’m just a boxer. I’m just doing my job inside the ring. That’s his problem, not mine.”
Hussein, now 45, fought on after the Pacquiao fight, but never got to hold a world title. Pacquiao, as we know, rose through the ranks to become the sport’s first and only eight-division world champion and future Hall of Famer.
He declared retirement in 2021 after his loss to Yordenis Ugas to focus on his Philippine presidential bid this past May. Pacquiao ended up losing in the elections and is now preparing for an exhibition match against Korean Youtuber DK Yoo on December 10.