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Referee admits cheating to save Manny Pacquiao in bombshell new confession — ‘I prolonged the count’

It once took Count Von Count 77 seconds to count to four, which leads me to believe his arithmetic teacher at Carpathian Mountains Elementary was none other than veteran boxing referee and Filipino homer Carlos Padilla.

Turns out Padilla cheated in Manny Pacquiao’s Oct. 2000 victory over Nedal Hussein, leading “Pac Man” to a tenth-round technical knockout finish — and WBC International super bantamweight title — at Ynares Center in Antipolo, Rizal, Philippines.

Watch the full fight below:

Credit Padilla with the assist.

“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. “So, you know the opponent, Hussein, or whatever his name was. He is taller, younger, stronger, and 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 crosseyed. 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 deduction.’”

“Manny is still groaning and then [I said to Pacquiao] ‘Get up, are you okay?’ And then because he is shorter he headbutted the other guy and there is a cut but I declared it a punch. 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. [The cut] is not really big and not really... but I never got the doctor to check it [because] I want to see it serious. [Later in the fight] I said, ‘Better knock that guy out Manny, because we may be in trouble.’ The guy was strong. I told the doctor to reposition himself to the neutral corner, I looked at him and he already sensed what I meant.”

Here’s the highlights:

Not surprisingly, Hussein was outraged by the confession.

“Watch this putrid dog admitting to cheating me in my fight against Manny Pacquiao,” Hussein wrote on Instagram. “WBC should be ashamed for what they do to fighters. WBC should be held accountable for the sport we love. The dirty referee talking with no shame.”

Hussein was 19-0 heading into his “Pac Man” contest and then won his next 17 fights but perhaps never achieved boxing superstardom simply because of his untimely (some might argue unjustified) loss to Pacquiao. “Skinny” later retired at 43-5 with 27 knockouts.

WBC has yet to comment on Padilla’s confession.

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