Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao asked why Carlos Padilla would admit to cheating when video evidence of his actions was readily available.
The eight-weight class champion was given a gift in 2000 against opponent Nedal Hussein when the Australian knocked him down in the fourth round.
That’s according to third man Padilla, who openly bragged about his efforts in saving Pacquiao to the WBC in an interview.
Ironically, the US-Filipino was being inducted into the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame at the time.
With boxing fans and media stacked against Padilla, Pacquiao is unsure why his fellow Philippines countryman needed to say what he did.
“Nedal Hussein, he doesn’t want to listen to the referee. He is focused on me, looking at me. It is the right of the referee to get the attention of a boxer to listen to him,” Pacquiao told GMA.
“He [Carlos Padilla] did the right thing. I don’t know if his count is correct. There is a video of that,” added the “Pac-Man.”
“I’m just doing my part as a boxer. I think he did it okay. It can’t be hidden because there’s a video. The referee did the right thing. I don’t know why he said that.”
Since a storm erupted over the bout, the WBC moved the video to private for a review before re-posting it with a disclaimer.
However, President Mauricio Sulaiman still hasn’t condemned the behavior. He also seemed to side with the family of the 88-year-old when they released a statement on the matter to World Boxing News.
They will review the footage and the interview, but nothing will likely be done to dissuade others not to cheat. The WBC still labeled Padilla a ‘legendary referee’ despite not knowing if there were any further incidents of that exact nature.
It then begs the question of how many other officials have done similar in the past.
Carlos Padilla review
“The World Boxing Council has established a special panel to review the situation about legendary referee Carlos Padilla. It comes following some comments during an interview published by the WBC a few days ago,” said Sulaiman.
“We have received a sensitive letter from Mr. Padilla’s daughter Suzy as she has addressed it to the boxing Community of the world.
“The letter is self-explanatory. As President of The WBC, as well as a human being who has known Mr. Padilla since I was ten years old, I can certainly empathize with Suzy and the contents of her letter to the boxing Community.
“I will personally follow the process in the meantime. The WBC will not make any further public comments.”
The WBC has prided itself on having a close-knit family in the sport, which includes relationships with boxers, referees, and judges.
Maybe the time has come to rethink that bond to ease the fans’ worry.
It’s a very serious matter as two fights later, Pacquiao made his professional debut in the United States in Las Vegas. His victory for the IBF strap, his first major title, launched him into being a household name and a millionaire many times over.
Pacquiao fought Timothy Bradley, Floyd Mayweather, and Oscar De La Hoya in a stellar Pay Per View career.
He retired in 2021, becoming the oldest winner of a welterweight title. Pacquiao then used his position in the Philippine senate to run for President.
It didn’t happen, but it was a contrast to his opponent on that fateful night in 2000.
After suffering the loss, Hussein didn’t fight for any belt of note for four years. He also never won a bonafide version of a major championship.