Padilla, who like Pacquiao is Filipino, allowed the eight-weight champion extra time to recover, which ordinarily would have seen his fellow countryman counted out.
Taking place at Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo City 22 years ago, Padilla felt comfortable discussing his wrongdoing in an interview with the World Boxing Council.
What makes the whole thing even more astounding is that the WBC would have given the video the green light to be posted.
Therefore, not only was Padilla happy to admit cheating, the WBC then oversaw any misdemeanor and put the video up on their YouTube channel. They even wrote an article about it, joking themselves.
Carlos Padilla admits cheating
Crazy as Padilla openly admits he “knows how” when it comes to giving a long count.
Pacquiao hit the canvas in the fourth round and looked out of it. Padilla delayed as long as he could so the “Pac-man” could get to his feet.
At the time, Hussein was 19-0 and suffered his first career loss. It never should have transpired and could have completely altered his career trajectory.
It took Hussein another three and a half years to fight for a ranking title again despite remaining unbeaten after Pacquiao.
At the same time, Pacquiao fought for a world title making his United States debut two bouts later in a Las Vegas victory that would spark one of the most incredible runs ever on US soil after signing with Top Rank Boxing.
Without beating Hussein, Pacquiao would never have gotten that chance.
In what is a shocking clip of Padilla soiling any reputation he had in the sport and shedding light on potential open cheating, the 88-year-old Hall of Famer said the following: “That fight, I’m about to go and leave the following day. 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,’” to the WBC.
“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 [it was the fourth], I think, Manny got knocked down. I thought he was going to get up, but his eyes were cross-eyed,” he joked.
“I’m 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!’.
“Then Hussein, because Manny was not like Manny is now, and he wasn’t trained by Freddie Roach yet, he holds on for his dear life. The guy throws him, and he goes 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, [point] deduction [for throwing an elbow].’”
Manny Pacquiao headbutt
Not content with the count cheating, Padilla also said he declared a headbutt by Pacquiao as a punch on purpose. This ultimately led to Padilla ending the fight prematurely, declaring Hussein unfit to continue.
Due to the headbutt, the fight should have gone to the scorecards. However, Padilla gave the victory to Pacquiao, having covered up his headbutt.
“Because he [Pacquiao] is shorter, he headbutted the other guy. There is a cut, but I declared it a punch,” Padilla amazingly 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 took to his Instagram account to declare his rage at what Padilla did to his career.
“Watch this putrid dog admitting to cheating me in my fight against Manny Pacquiao. WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman should be ashamed of what they do to fighters.
“You can find it on YouTube. They should be held accountable for the sport we love. The dirty referee talking with no shame,” said Hussein.
The fallout of this incident could have massive repercussions for all involved as boxing struggles to deal with bad decisions, drug test failures, and racism in the sport.
Staging any world title fight with a referee from the same country as one of the participants should have been banned long ago.