Hall of Shame

Lito Tacujan - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Filipino referee Carlos “Sonny” Padilla alleged after his induction into the Nevada  Boxing Hall of Fame that he helped boxing icon Manny Pacquiao escape impending defeat at the hands of Australian Nedal Hussein 22 years ago.

That he gave a long mandatory eight-count when Hussein knocked down Pacquiao in the fourth round and ruled a legal blow instead of a headbutt that opened a deep cut near Hussein’s left eye that led to Pacman’s victory via TKO in the 10th round.

Thus Pacquiao retained his WBC International superbantamweight title in a vicious slugfest on Oct. 10, 2000 before a roaring crowd at the Ynares Sports Center. He would go on to fuel a career that netted eight division titles.

Padilla, who worked the Ali-Frazier Thrilla in 1975, made the allegation after being inducted to the Nevada Hall of Fame.

“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!’” he said.

But why after 22 years? Did his induction into the Hall suddenly give him a sense of being righteous and proud? That his admission of guilt in aiding Pacman would make him worthy of the honor?

The Boxing Hall of Fame is a revered place that enshrined the efforts, hard work and sacrifices of boxing legends and fight people with integrity for the good of the sport.

The third man in the ring has the job to put things legal and in order between two persons engaged in mortal combat. He stays neutral and unbiased until the very end of the fight.

Pacquiao moved on and even bucked a controversial draw with Juan Manuel Marquez on a judge’s error and recovered from a “hometown decision” by Australian Jeff Horn.

Hussein faded from the boxing scene and now crying out for justice through Padilla’s allegation 22 years later.


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