Nedal Hussein has hit out at the ‘putrid dog’ referee who officiated his controversial bout with Manny Pacquiao after he finally admitted to helping the Filipino superstar to victory 22 years ago.
An up-and-coming Pacquiao met Hussein in the Philippines back in 2000, with the bantamweights competing for the WBC title at a sports centre in the Far East.
The gutsy Hussein – known as ‘Skinny’ – fought superbly and had Pacquiao badly hurt in the fourth round, leaving him dazed after knocking him to the canvas with a left jab.
A referee has admitted to helping Manny Pacquiao to victory against an Australian fighter
However, Filipino referee Carlos Padilla appeared to give his countryman a long count and the hometown hero rallied to eventually win the fight late on via TKO, due to a bad cut for Hussein.
Replays on YouTube show that from the time Pacquiao went down to the point the fight got back under way amounted to 18 seconds.
Hussein, who went on to become a car salesman in Sydney while his Filipino opponent enjoyed huge success in the ring, has long disputed the officiating of the fight and now Padilla has admitted to tipping the scales in Pacquiao’s favour.
After being inducted into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame, Padilla reflected on the fight between the young Pacquiao and Skinny.
‘Manny was not a world champion yet, he was only good in the Philippines,’ he told the WBC’s official 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 Manny Pacquiao, because the winner will have the chance to fight for the world championship”.
Pacquiao struggled badly against Nedal Hussein during their title fight back in 2000
He was knocked to the canvas with a left jab in the fourth round and was badly dazed
However, he benefitted from an 18-second count and Carlos Padilla says it was intentional
‘So, you know the opponent, Hussein, or whatever his name was. He is taller, younger, stronger and dirty fighter, managed by Jeff Fenech, the trainer from Australia.
‘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 Fillipino, so I prolonged the count. I know how to do it.
‘When he got up, I told him: “hey, are you OK?” still prolonging the fight. “Are you OK?” [Pacquiao makes groan noise in response] “OK, fight!” and then Hussein… because Manny was not like Manny is now, he wasn’t trained by Freddie Roach yet, he holds for his dear life and the guy throws him and he [Manny] 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. OK, judges, [point] deduction.”‘
Padilla also did not deduct a point for a headbutt against Hussein and used the cut sustained by the Australian to award the fight in Pacquiao’s favour
Later in the fight, Hussein suffered a cut to the head due to a headbutt initiated by Pacquiao, but Padilla detailed how he used that incident to the Filipino’s advantage.
‘Manny is still groaning and then [I said to Pacquiao] “get up, are you OK?” [laughs] 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.
‘It [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 [laughs].’
Despite giving Pacquiao a huge helping hand, Padilla still sensed that the fighter would not get a result if the bout went to the judges’ scorecards, and he explained how he took matters into his own hands.
Hussein took to Instagram to blast the ‘putrid dog’ referee for ‘cheating’ him out of victory
‘[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 mean. He went over the ropes and [gestures looking at Hussein before waving it off].’
The referee unexpectedly threw his arms into the air to call the bout to an end, handing Pacquiao victory.
The video was posted online one month ago but only now has gained traction on social media. Responding to the clip, Hussein took to Instagram to lash out at Padilla.
‘This putrid dog admitted to cheating me,’ he posted on his Instagram story.
Padilla enjoyed a storied career and is best known for refereeing the ‘Thrilla in Manila’ between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier in 1975.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted the WBC for comment.