November 30, 2022
MANILA — It has long been an open secret—fans joked about the obvious long count in the aftermath of a fight in 2000.
And in the years that followed, the joke lost its punch, flattened by the frequency of its retelling and the eventual incomparable career of one Manny Pacquiao.
Until the World Boxing Council (WBC) uploaded a video that featured renowned Filipino referee Carlos Padilla admitting he facilitated a rigged result in Pacquiao’s infamous fight against Australian Nadal Hussein.
“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 [fourth round], Manny got knocked down, I thought he was going to get up, but his eyes were cross-eyed,” Padilla said in a video on the WBC’s YouTube channel that has since been taken down.
“I am Filipino, and everybody watching the fight is Filipino, so I prolonged the count. I know how to do it,” Padilla said after taking nearly twice as long to count to 10. “When he got up, I told him, ‘Hey, are you okay?’ Still prolonging the fight. ‘Are you okay?’ ‘Okay, fight!’”